The Duo - Rakt Charitram
The Duo - Rakt Charitram
Next day. Around noon, both Nandan and Chhaya reached Geetika’s place. Rajini Devi too was there at that time and little Aruna was sleeping in her mother’s room. Geetika became furious when She looked at Chhaya but She controlled her anger then and said nothing. All four persons were sitting inside the room adjacent to the drawing-room. Rajini Devi directly said this to Nandan “Nandan, we never imagined about you the way you turned out to be……why have you done it?”
Nandan was silent and perhaps he was searching for a suitable answer. Geetika cried loudly “do a person, with a wife and children, with a happy family does this?” then She started sobbing “Nandan, what were the qualities which I was lacking in?” Nandan was still silent.
Rajini Devi stared at Chhaya once and then said to Nandan in a bit harsh tone “Look Nandan….this lady belongs to a different league altogether…. She is a blot upon the woman being…. She doesn’t have any character, dignity, and decency. She has become a shameless person, and this woman cannot match even with a prostitute. She doesn’t hold any respect or honour…..even a prostitute would have held that certainly…..but we never imagined this kind of stuff from you Nandan.”
Chhaya who was sitting calmly by then suddenly started spitting venom with so much anger. She interrupted "Oh Rajini Devi!!...now would you tell me about character, respect and dignity?...would you explain to me decency now?.....do you have such courage?"
Rajini Devi was silent now.
“Come on!! Tell me Rajini Devi….would you talk to me about my character?....should I tell you and your daughter about your character, dignity and decency?”
Now Rajini Devi's was looking downward. Her face had turned pale, and She was voiceless, like a statue now. Geetika was clueless, and She was not getting anything. She saw towards Nandan who was smiling and was lighting the cigarette.
Chhaya continued with a vengeance “…how would be the character of a woman, who has killed her own husband?....and now, how She is talking to me about the character?”
Geetika was stunned at it. She could not believe what She was hearing and watching about. Somehow She asked Rajini Devi “Oh Mother!...what is She saying?...what does it mean?” But Rajini Devi was sitting silently and kept her head down. She was not uttering a single word. She did not have enough guts to see in the eyes of the other three persons in that room and her silence was clearly an approval of whatever Chhaya said.
Chhaya said “Yes MLA madam!!...this is the truth. The dirty conspiracy of the assassination of your dear father Mr. Pathak ji was hatched by, neither my husband Vijay nor any other person, but it was your dear Mother who did it with the help of her rascal and good-for-nothing son Vaibahv.”
A sobbing and helpless Geetika looked towards Nandan and Chhaya. Chhaya was very angry and Nandan was smiling and exhaling the smoke. He was looking at Rajini Devi. Geetika again asked her Mother “Please speak up for God sake….Why did you do so?”
“Because you are a dirty blood MLA madam!....you are not a Pathak….you are not their blood, MLA madam.” Chhaya said to her. “You were just an orphan, nothing more than an outsider…..Vaibhav was their only son, their own blood although he was just good-for-nothing…. after all, he was a Pathak. This mother-son duo was well aware of the fact that Mr. Pathak ji always favoured you, and He wanted any Assembly seat or the City Central Lok Sabha seat for you, his capable daughter. He approved the proposal of an Assembly seat for you and the post of the Party President as well, in the party’s working committee meeting at Delhi. Then this mother-son duo thought that till Pathak ji would be alive, Vaibhav would never get his birth-right, i.e. the City Central Lok Sabha seat. So that conspiracy was hatched and the person who supported this mother-son duo wholeheartedly was none other than my dear father-in-law, and the most trusted lieutenant of Pathak ji, Mr. Krishna Babu.”
Rajini Devi asked Chhaya angrily without looking at her, keeping her head down “Who did tell you all these things?”
“who else Rajini Devi?.....your that rascal, and utterly idiot son, Vaibhav Pathak….He used to visit hotels frequently….right?...Wasn’t?....did you ask him even once that whom he used to meet in the hotel?” Chhaya taunted her with a smile. Nandan was still smiling at Rajini Devi.
Geetika, weeping badly somehow asked her “but Krishna Babu too lost his life in that attack, wasn’t it?”
"I don't know much about it MLA madam. But one thing I am very sure about that the chief conspirator of the assassination of your father is this very woman….you dear mother, who is lecturing me about the character." Chhaya was smiling. Then She said to Rajini Devi “Rajini Devi, if your time permits, then you should introspect first, only then you may question others.”
Rajini Devi was sitting silently, keeping her head down.
Geetika asked Chhaya “Why you are ruining my married life?....what I have done wrong to you?”
Nandan interrupted her “Do not say anything to her Geetika…She has actually done nothing….in reality, I was facing too many problems because of your mindset and mentality.”
“It means….your fad of this utterly non-sense social service…..I don’t like it at all….I have nothing to do with those poor villagers, farmers, labourers or widows. It's none of my business. They are poverty-stricken, starved people and facing scarcity. It is only the outcome of their ‘karma’. This is not my headache…..but your fad of social service brings a headache to me. You have your party related works, your father’s pending works regarding his constituency, you have so many cases in district court and in the High Court, and what not?.....that too for those duffer, idiot and good-for-nothing people who never want any significant improvement in their lives. They are just like that and they will remain so. I hoped indeed that because of your efforts that Rasoolpur Nindaura thing would be sorted out and we would get that investment of Rs. 300 Crores in our firm. But you did not do that……because you did not want to do that. Instead of supporting your husband you were taking sides with that Vijay and those non-sense, good-for-nothing farmers. Geetika, I have found so many irreconcilable differences between us, between our mindset and mentality…..it would be better that we should move on separately in our own lives as we cannot do it together…..and then Chhaya is my type of girl after all…..we know each other so well…from our Lucknow University days.”
Chhaya smiled and taunted her “Yes….you are correct that you have not done anything wrong to me MLA madam…..actually people like you and my husband, they cannot do anything in their lives….because both of you are beggars…..a beggar cannot do anything, and a beggar always suffers as you are suffering. A person who always prefers the benefits of other persons at the cost of his or her own family, he or she is bound to suffer such fate.”
It was pin-drop silence in the room, only to be broken by the sobbing of Geetika.
After a few minutes, Nandan and Chhaya stood up to leave, and Chhaya said to the mother-daughter duo “We were called upon for whatever discussion, it has been done. There is no meaning to stay here further….we are leaving now” and both of then swiftly moved out of the room. They both entered the car parked outside and went away.
Now only two women were sitting there in that room. The one was weeping and the other one was just quiet.
Geetika stopped sobbing and wiping out her tears, She said to Rajini Devi “Please tell me at least now…what is the truth?....I promise you, I would not disclose it to anybody….but an innocent is languishing behind the bars…..and the curse of an innocent always destroy the guilty. Dear Mother!!…. The God is watching everything. You have already committed the greatest sin of your life….now If you include some good deeds into your account then it would help you at the judgment day, as you said to me one day…..tell me Mother…. Please tell me for the God sake!!"
Rajini Devi raised her face now and She looked up to Geetika. She asked her “Geetika, would you bring a glass of water for me?” Geetika stood up and She went into the kitchen and brought a glass of water for her mother. Drinking the water Rajini Devi told her “I am very sorry Geetika!!...please forgive me. It was too late until I realized my mistakes….I had gone too far…..I had become completely blind in the love for my son, and the hatred for you that I did not realize even a bit when I crossed the line of humanness.”
Then She started revealing the truth “We had known the outcome of that party meeting through T.V, and newspapers already. Nobody even mentioned Vaibhav’s name in the meeting, for any post. Your father Pathak ji himself had decided to appoint you as the party’s president and also granted an Assembly seat to you along with an unwritten declaration that you would represent the City Central Lok Sabha seat in future. It was almost written on the wall that Vaibhav would not get anything and our Pathak family would suffer badly because of this old man. We thought that Pathak ji himself never wanted to promote Vaibhav, and We had cultivated so much hatred inside us against you that exactly when I decided to eliminate him, I did not even realize.”
Rajini Devi continued “…but we clearly knew that the task was almost impossible without the support of his most trusted lieutenant Krishna Babu, so we decided to include him in our planning. But why he would help us?....what were his interests?....then we decided that we would offer him the City Central Lok Sabha seat for his son Vijay, and as per this deal, Vaibahv would get one of the Assembly seat, means he would be an MLA. Then I said Vaibhav to call Krishna Babu. He was busy then in some work and He said that He would come to meet us after some days. Then after a few days, the day, when a seminar and an exhibition was scheduled at K.P. College, and Pathak ji was to be there, Vaibhav called Krishna Babu again and He came here to meet us. The three of us were sitting and having tea in this very room, when I said to him “Krishna Babu…..what was the outcome of the meeting?..... I have heard that our dear Vijay got nothing…is it true?..... I mean neither he would be an MLA, nor an MP…..why? ….why it happened?....that too when Pathak ji loves and praises him so much?”
“Now what can I say Bhabhi ji?....maybe Pathak ji would have some other ideas in his mind about Vijay…..I mean none of his steps or decisions so far have been proven wrong….so I hope that definitely, Vijay would get something good in future."
Then Vaibav said “He would get nothing…..there is only one person who would get everything in future, and that is She…that orphan Geetika. We just hate her a lot. We don’t know who She is?, or Where has She come from?....and She is just snatching away our rights from us….and my father too, is just gifting her everything.”
Rajini Devi said then “Krishna Babu….do you know the reality of this Geetika?”
“Bhabhi ji, She was an orphan, living in an orphanage of the city when Pathak ji adopted her as his daughter and brought her to his home…..but Bhabhi ji, whoever She is, or whose daughter She is, She possesses all those qualities perfectly which Pathak ji’s own daughter would have. Also, what I have seen, that all the leaders of the party and the party workers love her and admire her so much”.
Rajini Devi interrupted angrily “But it does not mean that everything should be just gifted away to her as Pathak ji is doing now….after all you have your own blood too….do Vaibhav have no rights to the legacy of his father?”
Krishna Babu was silent. He knew it well that none of both had enough courage to hear the truth.
“…and what about Vijay, Krishna Babu?.....after all Vijay too, is our very own child….and leave this party alone, Vijay is the most promising, most capable, and the most popular youth leader cutting across party lines as of now….why his name was not forwarded and promoted in the meeting for any Assembly seat or the City Central Lok Sabha seat?...he definitely deserves the Lok Sabha Election ticket from the party.”
Krishna Babu was listening to her. She very cleverly rubbed salt on his wounds.
“..and Krishna Babu……maybe you are unaware of the real identity of this Geetika…..do you know that Kiran Kumari?”
Krishna Babu said “Kiran Kumari?.... Yes, yes….I know her…. She was Pathak ji’s assistant a long time back….If I remember correctly, She was a scheduled caste woman…right?”
“Yes, you are right…..and this Geetika is the daughter of that very Dalit woman,….and you know who is the father of this child?…..it is none other than your best friend Pathak ji…. Yes, Krishna Babu, Geetika is his love child, born due to an extra-marital affair of your so-called great leader…..and this old man is just gifting away each and everything to her….and I have been watching all this drama unwillingly for last 30-odd years. I have been tolerating all this for the last 30 years.” Rajini Devi was very angry.
Krishna Babu was stunned at it “But Pathak ji told me some other story.”
Rajini Devi reacted “He lied to you, and in fact he lied to everyone….and now this dalit woman is going to rule us, and we, the Brahmins cannot do anything…...and thinking this hurts my heart a lot. A youth leader like Vijay, who is incomparable to all, will have to bear it. You just think Krishna Babu for a while, Vijay has not even been offered any Assembly seat so far…..just think, when He would contest the Lok Sabha election as a party candidate?...and that too, would he even contest any election or not?....would he even be an MLA or an MP or not?.....please don’t mind Krishna Babu but you should think……you have been with Pathak ji in his every thick and thin for the last 35-odd years. You have been his most trusted friend and he prefers you always more than even his brothers, but what has been the result so far? He has not let you become an MP even at this level of trust and friendship after 35-odd years. Why?.....and what he has done so far to you, he is playing the same game to your son Vijay also….and for whom?....just for that Geetika. I know Krishna Babu so well…..that people don’t like Vaibahv….I know that…..I know that the party leader and the workers always curse him behind our back, but Vijay?....Vijay is a diamond Krishna Babu….everybody likes him so much. Why this grave injustice to our dear Vijay?.... Actually, Krishna Babu, you and Vijay are pretty same. Both of you would never ask Pathak ji for any post or promotion in the party. You both would never leave the party either. Your this approach is the very reason that both of you have been at the receiving end.”
Krishna Babu was upset and it was clearly visible.
“If you are interested then I may help you.” Rajini Devi threw the dice on the board.
“What kind of help?”
“Krishna Babu, what if Pathak ji would not be there?”
“What do you mean by it?”
“I mean that if we manage somehow to remove Pathak ji from this whole political equation, then that Geetika would be alone, and She will not be able to do anything….then it would be an open path for Vijay for the City Central Lok Sabha seat and Vaibhav would get an Assembly seat. Both of our sons would get their legitimate rights, which seems to be invisible as of now. Vijay will get his due for sure Krishna Babu….justice would be done to him.” Rajini Devi said.
“But how is it possible?” Krishna Babu asked.
Vaibhav smiled “It depends entirely upon you….if you wish then definitely we can make it happen.”
“How?....I mean what can I do in it?”
Vaibhav looked at Rajini Devi for a while, and then he said to Krishna Babu “What if Pathak ji would lose his life in a road accident ?”
Krishna Babu was shell-shocked. “What?” he said with disbelief. “What have you just said, Vaibahv?.......Bhabhi ji, what is he saying?” a shocked Krishna Babu said to Rajini Devi.
“He is quite right Krishna Babu” Rajini Devi said very calmly. After a pause, She further said “If a deserving person is denied of his due despite of all the good qualities and capabilities, he have to snatch it. Till Pathak ji is there, Vaibhav and Vijay will not get their due for sure.”
Krishna Babu was stunned at it, and He was searching for words. Rajini Devi continued “Krishna Babu, I know what you are thinking….you would be thinking that what kind of the lady She is?...and what kind of a son He is?.....but Krishna Babu, you just think about 10 years from now….our dear son, our Vijay would not be an MP, and that dalit Geetika would be a cabinet minister in the Council of Ministers at the Centre. Pathak ji will have to be stopped at any cost Krishna Babu….for the sake of our sons, Vijay and Vaibhav…..otherwise they will get only beggar-bowl in their hands, nothing else"
Krishna Babu was silent. He was still thinking.
“We are not in a hurry at all, Krishna Babu…..you take your time. Such things need a lot of contemplation and thus, the time. Such things are neither done hurriedly nor they should be. You will tell us the latter. No need to decide now." She said to him.
Krishna Babu had been continuously thinking about it for many days and after contemplating all the aspects and probabilities, he telephoned to Vaibahv and Rajini Devi and requested for the meeting again, and in this second meeting, he agreed to come on board.
It was planned that when Pathak ji, Krishna Babu and Ujjawal singh ji will leave for Lucknow from Akbarabad city, as they had to reach Delhi to attend the next working committee meeting of the party, they will go in their three separate vehicles. In the first vehicle, Ujjawal Singh will be there with some of his supporters, in the second one, Krishna Babu will be there but alone, and in the third car, Pathak ji will be there with some of his supporters. In this third car, a powerful bomb would be planted along with an electronic timer device. The other two vehicles would continue to maintain a certain distance from the third vehicle during the journey, to avoid the collateral damage. The powerful explosion would take place somewhere near Unchahar area. Then Krishna Babu would pretend to save the life of their leader, but Pathak ji would finally lose his life on the spot. He would be taken then to a hospital where he would be declared as a brought-dead. Then an emergency meeting of the party’s working committee would be called by the party’s president Geetika and as the result of which Vijay would be appointed as the new president of the party vis-à-vis the Lok Sbaha bye-poll candidate of the party from the Akbarabad Central Lok Sabha constituency. Simultaneously, Vaibhav would be declared as the party’s candidate for the Assembly bye-poll instead of Geetika.
Then Krishna Babu went away.
After his departure, Rajini Devi said to Vaibhav “This father-son duo has been working always under your father’s boots, and now they are dreaming so big….It is impossible that my son would become an MLA and his son would become an MP, and that too, from your father’s City Central Lok Sabha seat, which is actually, the birthright of only my son. How can some other person raise a claim for it?.....only you will be the MP from the Akbarabad City Central Lok Sabha seat….we can install anybody, even Geetika for that matter, as a puppet party president…..that’s not a big deal. We can appoint her as the party president in that case……after Pathak ji’s demise, Geetika would be a powerless and helpless one.”
"You arrange some sharpshooters….they must be outsider. After the car bomb explosion, when Krishna Babu and Ujawal Singh would be trying to save Pathak ji, immediately then your shooters will reach on the spot from nowhere and they will start firing indiscriminately, so that any possibility of these two persons being alive, would be nullified. After some 5 or 6 minutes of such indiscriminate firing, your men will flee away. They and you will make sure that none of them would be caught by the police or locals.” Rajini Devi laid out the whole scheme.
An idiot Vaibhav asked “Why we will do such thing?”
The smart mother said "We will be able to kill four birds with this one-shot…..first of all the problem named Pathak ji would be solved forever. Then Krishna Babu, the sole eye witness of this whole planning, would be eliminated, so we will be safe. Thirdly, we would lodge an FIR against Krishna Babu’s son Vijay in the police saying that he was feeling humiliated and cornered after the outcome of the party meeting and he wanted the revenge, and so he hatched a conspiracy to kill Pathak ji. Vijay would be arrested and taken to jail, so your path would be clear. Fourthly, Geetika would be completely helpless and isolated inside and outside of the party. We will be able to make her dance to our tunes, or better, She would be irrelevant and sidelined.”
Geetika was completely devastated. She could not believe what She had just listened. She slowly stood up and went out of the room.
Geetika was sitting alone in her room and She was thinking about her fate. Throughout her life, She could not get anything but the deep pain and sorrow. Yes….this had been her life. First She lost her mother, without even seeing her. Then She searched for a mother in Rajini Devi and her hopes dashed again. Only a cruel Rajini Devi was in the store for her. She could not enjoy the love and the company of the siblings too, as Vaibhav was there. Then the only supporting pillar of her life, her father Pathak ji was brutally murdered. After the college when She was married to Nandan and She was thinking that everything was going pretty fine in her life, suddenly She had to face Nandan’s reality and betrayal. A person whom She considered her best friend and whom She always trusted blindly upon, He was languishing behind the bars now in the case of her father’s assassination. When Rajini Devi requested her for the reconciliation then She thought that at this stage, it would be better to reconcile even after 33 years, as they say, no time is wrong to start a right thing, but again She had just faced another shocking, brutal and cruel reality of her life. She was thinking that till now, She had been only witnessing the humiliation and curse for herself in her life so far. Her life has been deprived of any kind of joy or happiness.
In such a situation, She decided that She would meet Vijay again.
She again reached jail to meet him. She entered the hall and sat upon that very table which witnessed both of them last time. Vijay came and sat their quietly. They were allotted 30 minutes this time too. Geetika wanted some more time, as She had a lot to talk about. But She could not do anything. Geetika told him everything. She told him about the conspiracy of the assassinations of Pathak ji, about the people involved in it including the role of his father Krishna Babu, then She told him about the murder of Krishna Babu, about the illicit relations of Nandan and Chhaya, and many other things. Vijay listened to all those things very quietly. He was sitting silently and was trying his best to hold his tears but He could not. After a few minutes, he could say only this much “Geetika….I have a hearing tomorrow…..and I don’t want to talk anything….I am sorry Geetika, but I am leaving. He then stood up and proceeded towards his bairak and like the last meeting, this time too He did not look back at Geetika and went out of the hall. Geetika was stunned “Can there be a man like this?” but that was Vijay, he was really incomparable.
In the next hearing too at the High Court, the CIA and the Akbarabad Police failed to frame and file the charge-sheet against Vijay and as a result, he was granted conditional and interim bail. He was ordered to stay away from any public meeting, any public activity and he was ordered to register his attendance at the local police station daily and he would not leave the city till further orders of the court. Geetika was presented in the court-room during the hearing.
Vijay reached his home. It was no one there to welcome her, and he was well aware of this as Chhaya had started a live-in relationship with Nandan by then and She was living at Nandan’s place with her daughter. Vijay was sitting in his drawing-room alone and was thinking about his shattered life. Geetika also reached there and She knocked on the door. Vijay opened the door and without talking anything to her, he returned to his chair in the room. Geetika followed him and She also sat on the opposite chair, in front of Vijay. She was looking at Vijay while he was looking towards the ceiling fan in a very pensive mood. Geetika stood up quietly and went to the kitchen. After some dusting, She started to prepare tea. Vijay was still sitting like a statue. Geetika came to him after a few minutes with two cups of tea. She put a cup in front of him and sat on her chair with her cup. Vijay was still sitting looking upwards. Geetika said loudly “Vijay!!” He came back to senses and saw that a cup of tea was waiting there for him. Geetika signalled him to have tea. Between the sips of hot and piping tea, Vijay asked her “Yes MLA madam!!...how are you?...tell me something.”
Geetika said with a wry smile “you know….my father has gone, and I have not seen my mother…my husband left me and my daughter and he is living with another woman happily….and I have just discovered a few days back that to whom I was looking for a motherly love at this age, She has actually killed my father…..now tell me, How would I be?.... I am sitting here, in front of you….just look at me yourself and tell me, How am I?" Vijay laughed and said "Then Why should I look at you?....should I not look upon myself?....my mother has already gone, the people think that I have killed my own father, and what about the wife?.....she is living with another person with my little daughter…..so I think it is not much difference between both of us….then why should I look at you?” The way they both were talking to each other it was palpable that they had compromised with their fates. They were joking and laughing over their situations. They were mocking of themselves, so that they may live peacefully at least.
Geetika then asked him “what will you do now? Would you go to meet Chhaya?....after all it is your little daughter there.”
“Neither I would go anywhere, nor I will meet anybody….as far as the daughter is concerned, She is just 3-years old, and more than father, She needs her mother. I am not confirmed but I hope Chhaya would not cheat her daughter at least. I would remain in the house…..I can’t go anywhere….I have to mark my present daily at the police station…where would I go? ” Vijay said.
“How would you prove yourself innocent?”
“I have not done anything wrong, so why should I worry for?....after all the police and the CIA too could not prevent my bail, and similarly they will be unable to prove any charge against me and so I would be absolved at last. It is not my headache to prove my innocence, it is the headache of the police and the CIA. I have nothing to do with it. Whatever is the truth, it will definitely come out…that’s all!”
The news of interim bail to Vijay, was spread like the bush-fire. In another bairak of the jail Vaibhav too heard about it, and since that moment he had been shouting, crying and quarrelling with the other prisoners like a mad man. His lawyers who visited the jail to meet him also had to face his wrath. He was continuously yelling at them. He was hurling abuses and curses at the inmates too.
At the time of lunch, when the prisoners were assembled near the kitchen of the bairak, some hot talks took place there between Vaibhav and some other prisoners. Vaibhav was already disturbed due to Vijay’s bail, and that heated exchange worked as a trigger. He became furious and He ran behind that fellow prisoner with stones in his hands. A criminal is a criminal after all, it is futile to expect some decency and sensible act from him. The longer sentence he is serving, the more dangerous he would be, and there were too many dreaded criminals in that bairak like this. Many of them had been waiting for the perfect timing for long so that they might teach a lesson or two to Vaibhav. They wanted to take their revenge as they or their family had suffered because of Vaibhav in the past. Today, they got their perfect chance, and they attacked him collectively with so much of vengeance. They were beating him badly. It was total chaos in the bairak premises and in the kitchen, and everybody was running here and there to save himself. Meanwhile, many of the prisoners, who hid sharp weapons with them, came out in the open with those weapons. Some of them were protecting Vaibhav while others were attacking him brutally, and thus unprecedented violence erupted. It was just like a dog fight which was continued uninterrupted for the next 2 hours. Almost after 2 hours, when police force arrived there in the large numbers, and used brute force to counter the chaos, only then some normalcy was restored. About 25 prisoners and 12 persons of the jail staff suffered serious injuries, and all of them were immediately hospitalized in the jail’s hospital. Despite the best of efforts by the doctors there, 3 prisoners and 2 staff members died. The name of one of the deceased person was Vaibhav Pathak.
When Rajini Devi was telephonically informed about it, surprisingly She listened to it silently and did not react. Perhaps it had become beyond the limit of her tolerance now. Her body and mind had become tired of it. She had spent her whole life in defending Vaibhav only. She saved him from the wrath of the society, from his wife, from his father….and as this was not enough, She planned the assassination of her own husband for her son, and She also implicated falsely an innocent person for this, who always treated her like a mother-figure. Perhaps now She was feeling herself empty. Her only wish, for now, was to earn something that She would show at the judgment day, otherwise, Her 'karma' were such that even 10 times Kailash Mansarovar Yatra or even 10 times holy bath at the Sangam during the Kumbh would not suffice to purify her sins. She was silent when She heard about Vaibhav’s death and She said only to herself with tears in her eyes “Rest in peace Vaibhav…..every bullet has its billet….as you sow, so shall you reap, that is the inexorable law of nature”.
Geetika was in her room. She had not been talking to Rajini Devi ever since Nandan and Chhaya had revealed the reality. Even both were having their breakfast, lunch and dinner separately and Geetika did not sit with her. She began to engage herself in the party’s affairs and works related to her Assembly constituency to avoid those painful memories. Around 11 at one night, Rajini Devi knocked her door “Geetika….my dear daughter….please open the door!...please don't treat me like this….I am really very sorry Geetika, for whatever I have done to you….I know well that I don’t deserve any kind of mercy or forgiveness….but Geetika, there is definitely a time in every person’s life when her mind and soul become corrupt. At that moment, She or He cannot differentiate between right or wrong…..I was too going through that phase back then, when blind love for my son, and hatred towards you made me mad….and then I did not realize even a bit what I thought and what I went on doing….If you talk to me a bit, I think I may found some solace, some relief….please open the door Geetika.”
Geetika moved by such emotional appeal from the poor old lady and She opened the door. Geetika eyes were red, and it was clear that She was weeping inside her room. Her daughter Aruna was sleeping beside her, on the bed. Geetika opened the door and came back to the bed without saying any word to her mother. She was still not looking to her. Rajini Devi herself pulled a chair near the bed from a corner of the room and sat upon it. She was looking at Geetika and Aruna. After some minutes, She mustered some courage and asked Geetika in a low voice “What have you thought about Nandan, Geetika?”
Geetika replied rudely without looking at her “What is there to think?.... Nandan has already thought….He will live with Chhaya…I don’t have anything to think about.” Then She looked at Aruna “We are a mother-daughter duo….we will do something for us.”
“If you think really on this line, may I say something to you?” Rajini Devi asked.
“You should send a divorce notice to him.”
"It does not matter to me at all….be it with divorce or without divorce, my life would remain the same. Without divorce I am sitting here in front of you….. the same thing would happen after divorce too."
“Listen to me first, Nandan is a businessman….who always searches for profit maximization. As of now and in the upcoming years too, nothing is more profitable than being a businessman husband of an MP or an MLA…..and that woman, Chhaya can never provide such cushioning to him. I think Nandan would immediately come back to you as he will receive the notice.”
“How it would be beneficial to me and my daughter, in that case too?” Geetika interrupted angrily. She said “some other day, He would go for some other woman….He would gift her lipstick again….I would again discover a sapphire-studded golden ‘laung’ from the pocket of his shirt…..then I would come back here….then I would again send him the divorce notice…does it mean anything to me?”
"You did not let me finish…. I was saying that you should send the notice first. If He would not come back to you, and He would decide to be with Her, in that case, you would be freed from this torture forever. I mean….if He would sign or not sign the notice, in both the situations, you would be benefited.”
She continued “…and there is another aspect Geetika…it is always better to give somebody a second chance, to rectify his mistakes. As the wise people say, you can shut all the doors but you should keep a small window open for reconciliation. It is quite possible that for the time being, Nandan’s mind and soul have been corrupted due to some evil, just as it happened to me….human-being many a time proceeds unknowingly towards the path of the evil. Then there is your daughter…. She is unaware of all this but She will ask you about her father….the society will ask her too….and you will have to tell her too….you cannot avoid it, so it would be better if Nandan comes back. But If in near future, again you realize that Nandan is on evil path…..then I would not stop you. You may do whatever you want to.”
Perhaps for the first time in all these years, Geetika felt that Rajini Devi was right. In the next few days, after some deliberations with her lawyers and Rajini Devi, Geetika slapped a divorce notice to Nandan.
He was working in his office when he received the notice by a registered post. He was looking upset when He came back to his residence in the late evening. Chhaya was playing with her daughter. She saw this and asked him “What happened Nandan?” He put a white paper on the table in front of him and said with a wry smile “MLA madam has sent a notice….a divorce notice.” Opening the notice, Chhaya exclaimed with joy "Wow!!... Divorce notice!!....its great, its fantastic…isn’t it?” Nandan smiled and said "Yeah!! Definitely, it is." And He then went to his room for a change.
After taking off his clothes, Nandan was sitting on the bed and He was thinking something seriously. Chhaya came there and sat beside him. Looking at Nandan, She asked “What is the matter Nandan?.....are you thinking about the notice?...it is actually something which we had been desperately waiting for a long time. Isn’t it?...then what are you thinking?”
Nandan said “Yes, this is a fact….we desperately wanted just this, but…” and He stopped in the mid-way. Then suddenly, He changed the topic and asked her with a smile “You tell me….what is the menu of the dinner today?” Chhaya laughed and said “it is alu-matar-soyabean today.” Nandan said "O.K. fine!... I am coming to the dining table after having a bath….I am so much hungry today." Chhaya smiled and kissed him on his cheeks, then She stood up and went towards the kitchen. Nandan too proceeded towards the washroom with his towel.
He was standing beneath the shower and cold water was falling upon him. He was really thinking about that divorce notice “Now what should I do with this notice?...if I sign it today, then me and my company would suffer in the future. She is an MLA, and very soon, She would be an MP….and who knows, She would become a cabinet minister too….She will remain the party president for life, and her party is going from strength to strength after every election….I will definitely suffer badly if I sign upon this notice. There are immense benefits of being a businessman husband of an MP or an MLA. I will definitely need her help a lot in the future as so many big ticket projects would come across in upcoming years….and also I may reach to the Legislative Council or to the Rajya Sabha through this channel. If I sign the notice now then the future possibilities regarding business and political growth would be ruined….as my firm would not get entry for the business into the provinces ruled by her party then. Currently, her party is an alliance partner in the ruling coalition at the Centre too…..and my business would be badly affected. On the other hand, If I don’t sign this notice now, then there is every possibility that Chhaya would play the same dirty game with me, which She has played with Vaibhav in the past. Just one allegation of sexual harassment is enough to ruin me, my company, and my social prestige completely…..it would be impossible to get bail too in that case…..How much I can trust this woman?....” Nandan was thinking all these things and then He finally decided to go for a hard decision.
One day when Chhaya was coming back with her daughter from her play-school, She asked the rickshaw-puller to proceed towards the AG Office crossing, the largest Fruit Market of Akbarabad City. She wanted to buy some fruits for Nandan and her daughter. She left the rickshaw with her daughter after paying the fare, She reached near a Fruit Vendor. She was bargaining when two sturdy-built unidentified persons came very close to her from behind. One of them had a shawl wrapped on his right hand. Before Chhaya could understand anything, that man put a pistol on Chhaya’s waist in such a way that only he and Chhaya could sense it. No other third person could see the pistol on her waist as the pistol was hidden under the shawl. The man came further closer to her and muttered “Don’t try to move madam and listen to me very carefully….do the same as I say…only then You and your daughter would be safe. We will not harm you for sure…..you just move with us and do the same as I say.”
Chhaya tried to see his face but he further pushed the pistol on her waist from behind and threatened her “madam, don’t move….I have just said.” Chhaya became stand-still. The second person then pointed his finger towards a path and said to her "Come to this side madam" and Chhaya followed the instruction and started towards there silently with her daughter. In the way, She asked angrily, but in low voice to that man having a shawl on his hand “Who has sent you?...that bastard MLA?....or that rascal who has just come out from the jail a few days back?....that Vijay?....will you tell me?” Both of the men laughed and he said to Chhaya “ Madam whatever we have been ordered, we are following that only…..you would get the chance to meet our boss this evening….he will further clarify it….for now, you just move with us as we say." They reached near an old Fiat car and one of them opened the rear door of the car and said to Chhaya “Madam, you sit inside, with your daughter.” Chhaya entered the car with her daughter. One of those men entered the car and sat on the front seat, and the other one sat besides Chhaya and her daughter. The driver started the car.
The car was meandering through the roads of Akbarabad city and moving towards the Mamfordganj locality. The car reached near an old building and one of the men opened the door and instructed Chhaya and her daughter to come out with him. Chhaya came out of the car and identified the building. It was the same building where Vaibhav used to meet her. Chhaya screamed in anger “I see…..then that Rajini Devi, the old lady has sent you, right?" The man became furious and threatened her "I have said you to follow the instructions only, not to speak or to shout anything…otherwise, you and your daughter would face dire consequences…..understand? Now let's go inside" and he pushed the mother-daughter duo towards the hotel entrance. Chhaya was silent now and started towards the hotel.
Chhaya was further instructed to move to the second floor of the hotel and She and her daughter followed it. Chhaya witnessed there too many persons, and everybody was looking at her. It seemed like they were waiting for her. Chhaya was then instructed to move towards the last room of the floor located at the other end. Chhaya and her daughter crossed the corridor and reached near that room. A man was already there who opened the room and signalled both of them to enter inside. Chhaya and her daughter entered the room and the man said from behind “around 8 or 9 O’Clock tonight, our boss would visit here to meet you. Then you will talk to him in detail, till then you would stay here in this room with your daughter. All the stuff which you need are already kept inside the room….it is a double-bed there, a ceiling fan and a cooler is also there. A large earthen pot is kept there where you may have your cold drinking water. We will provide you tea and some snacks a short while from now….and also you would enjoy your lunch and dinner if you would behave yourself." And then he closed the door and locked it from the outside.
Chhaya started beating the door from inside. She was screaming and hurling abuses vehemently. She was crying like an insane person but nobody paid any attention to it. Within half-an-hour, She had become tired of this crying and screaming. Then She went near the earthen pot and the mother-daughter duo had some water. Meanwhile, a man came there with tea, some packets of biscuits, and two full-plates of Roti-Sabzi. He put the stuff upon the table there and then he went out of the room. The little girl ate a full packet of biscuits, and then the mother-daughter duo had lunch. Her little daughter had become tired of all this, and She slept soon after lunch. Chhaya was quiet now.
About 6 in the evening, a man came into the room again with tea and some more packets of biscuits, he put the stuff upon the table again and went out of the room. Chhaya had tea and snacks then, which in turn, provided her with some energy and as a result of which, She again started abusing vehemently to the people there. Her foul-mouthed abuses were being clearly heard across the whole floor, and people there were actually enjoying it wholeheartedly. Most of them were laughing at it but not everybody was happy at it. A man with a pistol suddenly unlocked the door and entered the room very angrily and abusing vehemently to her, he threatened “You have been creating scenes here since the noon…..we have asked you to keep quiet but it seems that you are not getting it….we are providing everything to you…..we are providing you cooler, cold water, tea and biscuits from time-to-time along with full-plate lunch….but still you are not listening to us and you have been only creating nuisance…..I am here to warn you that if you would not keep quiet, I will certainly empty all my bullets inside your head….that’s it!!” Chhaya became quiet after that and the man went out of the room, but as he departed, Chhaya started the drama again, but nobody entertained her after that.
It was around 10 PM by the clock. The mother-daughter duo was yet to receive their dinner and thus, they both were in pathetic condition inside the room. Chhaya had become hell tired after a day-long crying and abusing. She sat on the ground near the door with her 4-years old daughter, who was about to sleep. Suddenly She overheard some noises outside and She became alert. One of the men outside, shouted upon the others “The Boss has arrived!!” Chhaya heard it and her tired mind was again at work. She was attentive now as She was trying to overhear the conversation outside of the room. She put her ears near the door. After a few minutes, She heard a totally different male voice and accent, which was not like the other people presented there. It seemed that the man was some outsider. She kept her hands on her daughter’s mouth and She again tried to overhear the voice. She was much alert and attentive now. She was trying to get the voice and suddenly She realized that She had already heard that voice and accent…..She was listening to it more carefully now and after some seconds, She had become shell-shocked…..She could not believe what She had just heard….She could not even imagined it….She became unmoved due to this shock…..It was Nandan.
Nandan’s men took him near the room. The man who was standing there said angrily “Sir, this bitch has been fucking our heads badly since this afternoon….it was your order because of which we have been tolerating tantrums and abuses of this lady otherwise we know how to deal with such bitches.” Nandan smiled for a while and signalled the man there to unlock the door.
As the door was opened, Nandan received a dirty spit on his face. He saw that Chhaya was looking at him like a wounded tigress and She was unable to even control her breathe due to so much anger. Nandan came close to her and smiling shamelessly He took the aanchal of her Saari in his hands to clear the spit. Then He asked her with the same shameless smile “I hope you would not have faced any problem here, right?” Abusing and cursing him vehemently, Chhaya spat upon his face again. She was very angry and weeping. Nandan again took her aanchal in his hands and cleared the dirty spit off his face again. Chhaya asked him crying “Why did you do it to me Nandan?” Nandan replied calmly “It was necessary Chhaya…. what could else I do?....you seemed a misfit into my cost-benefit analysis…..I will need the support of an MLA or an MP in the future, rather than an old college friend.” Chhaya reacted bitterly “So you should have told me this much earlier…..it would not have even come to this point….you could be happy in your world and I could be happy in mine….why did not you tell me that I was a misfit in your cost-benefit analysis?” She was crying inconsolably.
Nandan lit a cigarette and replied calmly “Come on Chhaya!!...don't be sentimental…. let's be practical. Geetika was allotted neither the party ticket for the Assembly bye-poll nor the post of the party’s president back then….and She was not interested in active electoral politics too at that time. It was all for Vaibhav only. But since then, a lot of things have changed. She is an MLA now, and She would be an MP very soon, and who knows Chhaya, She would be a cabinet minister too, plus She is a lifetime president of the party now….even if this deal of Rs. 300 Crores fails, I would get many such huge deals in future, thanks to the position of my wife. But I certainly will not get such benefits in future if I marry you now…..further you will not able to get a Legislative Council seat or a Rajya Sabha seat to me…..but if I let you go from here now, who knows, maybe after some years, my condition would be like that Vaibhav…..I didn’t have any other option dear Chhaya….sorry dear!!... I am very sorry!!"
“Then why did you keep playing with my emotion, with my body Nandan?” She asked her crying bitterly. Nandan was very calm. He exhaled the smoke and said “Actually, it was a two-way relation Chhaya….it takes two to tango after all. You came to me as you did not like your husband and his mindset at all….he had been always a beggar to you…..you just hated her mentality and ideas and as far as I was concerned, I did not like my wife too….. I don’t like her even now…..but as I have just told you, She is an MLA now. Then there is another aspect Chhaya which you should think about….a person is having daal-roti and alu-gobhi all the time, but when you get a different taste…...a chicken biryani for an instance….then its terrific for sure. After all, I cannot have a non-veg at home….wife does not allow it…She is pure vegetarian, and then, even your husband is a pure vegetarian. Isn’t it?....and Chhaya, let’s be honest…were you too not interested in the non-veg diet?” and a wicked smile appeared on his face.
Chhaya heard it and She staggered and fell on the ground. Her daughter cried and embraced her tightly. Chhaya did not have words to speak now, and indeed She was not trying to say anything too. Now She was remembering the conversation between her and her mirror-image a few days back. The mirror image was saying “…every person has to pay for his or her ‘karma’ in this very birth..” to which Chhaya replied "…do not lecture me….I have been listening to all these non-sense lectures from my dear husband but I have never seen any benefit out of it…". The image warned her "….He is a businessman….dont tell me that I had not warned you about it…”.
Nandan knelt before Chhaya and exhaling the smoke upon her face, he stretched his right hand towards one of his men who in turn put a revolver in his hand. Chhaya was watching all this quietly and She was not fearing anymore. She hid the face of her daughter in her aanchal and She was looking at Nandan. Nandan said “Sorry Chhaya!!.. I don't carry any luggage with me." Suddenly a spine-chilling sound of a gunshot was heard there on the second floor. Chhaya was lying on the ground and the blood was oozing out from her head. Her 4-years old daughter was not getting anything. How intelligent a 4-years old child is?.....after a few minutes, another gunshot was heard there. Then Nandan stood up and returned the revolver to his aide and instructed him “get all this cleaned here” and then He went out of the room.
Late at that night, Nandan dialled Geetika who was working then in her chamber. Geetika used to work till late night and She inherited this habit from her father. She picked the call “Hello?”
“Hello Geetika, its me Nandan this side….please listen to me first, don’t put the phone down please”. Nandan said fearfully.
Geetika said rudely to him "Why have you called me?... I don't want to talk to you….the notice I have sent to you, please sign it and set me free from the shackles."
“Geetika…please listen to me at least…please don't be angry…a man commits mistakes, and it happens to everyone…..definitely, I have committed a serious blunder, and I know that no apology would be enough for it….but Geetika….your mother too committed a serious mistake, and you have finally forgiven her…..dont you think that I too deserve a second chance at least?....please have some mercy Geetika….I am requesting you for it.” Nandan asked her.
“O.K., you speak up”
“I want to meet you once.”
“I have something to tell you, that I cannot tell on the phone….I want to meet you and discuss….you tell me when you would be free?….I will be there at your home.”
“You may come here Nandan but don’t think that you would ask and I would come along with you….You would come here alone, and you will go from here alone too” an angry Geetika said it firmly.
“O.K. Geetika…but let me come there first at least” Nandan urged.
“I am going to Lucknow for some days…..you come here next Sunday…you will have your dinner here too.” Geetika replied.
And then the call got disconnected.
Geetika thought for a while and telephoned Vijay. She knew that very much like her, there is another person who prefers to work late at night. Vijay picked up the phone “Hello?”
“Hello Vijay?....its me Geetika here.”
“It’s a surprise!!...you have called me so late in the night….is everything O.K.?”
“What are you doing right now?” Geetika asked.
“Nothing…actually I am reading a book now….its 'Mrityunjay' by Shivaji Sawant. I have brought it today from a University road shop….its an excellent novel. I am feeling so good with this book. One seldom finds a nice book in Hindi Literature….this one is absolutely fantastic!....if you would get time, you should read it….tell me, Why have you called me at this time?”
“I need some help Vijay”
“Help from me?....I mean I am out on bail now….how may I help you?” Vijay asked.
“No, Vijay….only you can do this.” Geetika was a bit rigid now, which was usually not her nature.
After a week, Nandan visited her residence around 7 PM on Sunday where Rajini Devi and Geetika were waiting for him. Nandan did not have enough courage to establish eye-contact with the mother-daughter duo. His body language was clearly telling that He was feeling a tad uneasy. After supper, the three persons sat on the sofa in the drawing-room. Geetika had already sent the servants to their homes, so now only those three were there. Geetika asked “Yes Nandan, why did you want to meet?...what you have to say?”
“I had to tell both of you something important.”
“….that I want Geetika and Aruna back in my life….I want to re-correct my mistakes…I want just one more chance.”
“How will it happen?” Rajini Devi asked.
“It will…because I have killed both Chhaya and her daughter….and now, neither there is anybody in my life except my wife Geetika and my daughter Aruna, nor in future anyone would be there….that is my promise…and I have come here to tell you people just this."
Both Geetika and Rajini Devi were looking at him. Geetika said “Nandan, I trusted you earlier too.”
Nandan requested “Please Geetika, just trust me once more.….neither you nor I will ever have to face this test again in our life….I promise you.”
The talks continued until late at night. It was 12:30 AM by the clock. Nandan was thinking that Geetika would say ‘yes’ to his offer, but it seemed that Geetika was dead against it. At last, Nandan had to stand-up to leave. He said "Well, its O.K., now I am leaving Geetika”. He thought that Geetika would insist for a night stay to him, but Geetika in contrast too stood up and proceeded towards the entrance saying "O.K…come to this side." She came outside of the house to his car to see him off when Nandan said with some hesitation “so what should I think Geetika?” Geetika replied “Nandan, there is a lot of pain inside me as of now….its not easy to forget all those things…I listened to you carefully but I cannot say anything confirmed. I need some time to think…..its not going to be that easy.”
“O.K., then when should I come here again?” Nandan asked her.
"After elections, the workload has increased significantly. Better you come on Friday, but again I would say, don't be assured of something….maybe you would come alone and you would have to go alone on Friday too." Geetika told him.
“O.K., I will be here on Friday evening.”
Then She asked “Nandan, tell me one thing…why did you kill that 4-years old girl?.... I mean what was her fault? Her mother was guilty…and She deserved it, but why She was killed?”
Nandan did not have an answer. He was standing there silently.
Geetika looked at him and said “…O.K., we come on Friday evening…we will talk”
Nandan nodded and He entered his car.
On Friday, Nandan was there again. He was talking to Geetika and Rajini Devi after dinner, and this time too , the talks continued till late night and the clock was clearly showing 12:30 AM. Geetika was still unable to decide. Nandan had got the feeling that like the previous meeting, he had to go back empty-handed, without Geetika this time too. Geetika again came to his car to see him off.
Driving his car, Nandan was nearing the Malaviya Boys Hostel of the University. Suddenly then, some unidentified, masked people who were already present there with their bikes came in front of his car and stopped the vehicle. Abusing him so badly and loudly, they threatened him to come out of the car. Nandan was caught completely off-guard and he was stunned at this attack. He came out of the vehicle with both his hands up. He wanted to talk with them and shouted “look…listen to me…listen to me…” but it seemed that they were in no mood of listening to anything from him, and then suddenly one of them came very close to Nandan and stabbed his dagger in his stomach deeply. Before Nandan could understand anything, another person came from behind and stabbed his dagger in his back. After a few seconds, two more of them came near to him and brutally stabbed their daggers in his body. Then two of them pulled out their daggers from Nandan’s body and again stabbed him. He was being stabbed again and again. The red blood was coming out profusely from his body continuously. He staggered and then fell near the front tires of his car. As it was not enough, those people opened the doors of the car and searched it thoroughly. They found some important papers related to his company, some documents of properties, and regular papers of his car, which they brought out from the vehicle and kept them near the tires. Then they poured the huge amount of kerosene oil upon the car, papers and seriously injured Nandan and then, they set them ablaze. After that, they all started their bikes and just disappeared in a flash. No one was there to watch or stop them at that late night.
Next morning when the newspapers were crying out about the murder of famed business tycoon Nandan Agarwal, Rajini Devi rushed towards Geetika with a newspaper in her hands “Geetika!!...have you seen this?.....someone burnt Nandan’s car last night and killed him mercilessly….and then burnt him alive too.” Geetika took the newspaper from her mother and read it. Then She said tearfully "…as you sow, so shall you reap….this is the law of nature, Mother. What can I do now?....after all this, it was the same whether I stayed with him or not.”
That eventful night when Geetika called Vijay, then She asked “Vijay do you know about some of the people who participated at that farmer’s agitation at Rasoolpur Nindaura?.....are you still in contact with them?”
“Definitely I know many of them so well…and yes, I am still in their contact….in fact, they were the persons who escorted me from High Court to my home on the day when I was granted the bail….they keep calling me too….but why are you asking all this?” Vijay said.
Then Geetika told him that Nandan would come there to meet her and Rajini Devi after a week. Vijay said “so what should I do?....he is coming there to meet his wife and mother-in-law.”
“Yes, he would be here….but I don’t want him to reach his home alive.” Geetika said it firmly.
“What do you mean?”
"I mean exactly what you are thinking….I want to get rid of this demon…..forever.”
Vijay was shocked to the core. He said “Geetika, your hate is justified but such a drastic step would not be a right one I think.”
“Vijay, was it right what he did to me?...now he is coming to me. He does not have any kind of feeling or emotional attachment towards me or my daughter. He is just pretending it. Actually he eyes his business benefits first, and He knows that he would reap maximum profit being a husband of an MLA or an MP. He knows it well that he would get immense benefits, thanks to the political positions of his wife. Tomorrow, He would go after some other woman, and He would do the same thing again….should I tolerate all this throughout my life?...and Vijay, remember one thing too….he has ruined your family also…..It is good to see and identify the opponent before taking any step, and Vijay, I am very clear about it….I am seeing and identifying my opponent clearly…and I hope that you should do it too. Vijay, The Almighty has said it in Shreemad Bhagwadgeeta and I am doing that very thing……He would not be murdered, Vijay, in fact He will be killed, and as of now, only you are the person who can do that…..Please Vijay, eliminate him….it is necessary."
“Geetika, as you know, I am out on bail now. I cannot do this at all.”
“That’s why I am saying, that you should call those people for it.” Geetika insisted.
But Vijay finally denied it firmly.
On Sunday, when Nandan came to Geetika and told her about the murder of Chhaya and her daughter, then after his departure, Geetika called Vijay again and told him everything. She told him how brutally Nandan had executed her 4-years old child and her mother. Geetika asked him again “Vijay, do you still think this demon is worthy of being alive?....should not he be killed?......He will be here this Friday again. I will keep talking to him till late at night and he will leave my place very late. He will also be alone in the car…..now, what do you think?"
And this time, Vijay agreed upon it.
In next 2 or 3 months, Vijay somehow managed to come with terms that he had lost his wife and his daughter forever and he had punished the culprit for his deeds too. The relations between Rajini Devi and Geetika were continuously improving. One fine Sunday, Geetika decided that She would prepare the dinner herself. Little Aruna loved the ‘kheer’ prepared by her mother so much and she had been asking her for that for quite some time. So Geetika thought that She would prepare the kheer too, and so She sent the servants back to their homes quite early in the evening. She was working at the kitchen while Aruna was playing with her Naani in the drawing-room.
All of them had a delicious dinner that night after which Geetika made Aruna sleep in her room. After a long time, Geetika and Rajini Devi were sitting together in the balcony on the chairs, and they were enjoying the cool evening breeze there. It was raining somewhere where the cool breeze was coming from. It was around 11 in the night when Geetika said to her mother “Mom, we will have a coffee tonight…I am going to prepare it now…..the coffee would perfectly complement such beautiful weather tonight. Would not it?” Rajini Devi smiled and She nodded.
After a few minutes, Geetika arrived with two cups of hot and piping coffee. They both were enjoying the hot coffee a lot amid such cold and breezy weather, and their talks were not ending. Just a few minutes after having a coffee, Rajini Devi felt some kind of discomfort. "What happened, mother?" Geetika asked to which She smiled and said “Nothing Geetika…. It seems that blood pressure has gone up a bit perhaps……now what can I do?....the body keeps telling me repeatedly that I am much older now”.
After a few minutes, She started to sweat profusely and She was feeling some problems in breathing. She was getting restless too, as She was gasping for breath. Somehow She said to Geetika “Getika….please…..call…..to….Dr. Mittal…please…do it” but Geetika did not move from her chair. She was still sipping her hot coffee and She was looking at Rajini Devi calmly. Rajini Devi suddenly fell down from her chair, and She was badly gasping for breath. She again tried to say it to Geetika in a broken voice “Geetika…..again……Dr. Mittal…..phone…..coffee….Dr. Mittal…..phone…” But Geetika was still unmoved. She finished her coffee and put the cup on the stool in front of her, and again She was looking at Rajini Devi. Suddenly, Rajini Devi started vomiting and the white foam with blood started coming out of her mouth. Rajini devi saw that the foam and the blood were coming out of her mouth, and then She looked at Geetika who was still sitting on her chair very calmly, as nothing was happening in front of her. Rajini Devi got the sense that finally the game of checkmate was over now and her daughter Geetika had already made the final move. Rajini Devi was weeping now “why?.....why did you do it to me Geetika?.....why?.....It was me….who did….all your help…then why?” the white foam and the blood were coming out of her mouth now profusely.
Geetika who has been sitting silently for quite some time stood up and went near the edge of the balcony. She was watching towards the road outside. Rajini Devi was vomiting vehemently behind her. Geetika turned back and said to her mother who was vomiting and suffering on the floor of the balcony “What kind of help you did to me, Rajini Devi?...you got my dad murdered....was it a help?, then you got Krishna uncle killed…was it a help? , and as far as the relations between Nandan and me are concerned, then listen to me carefully…..maybe you are unaware of this fact….that on my behest, Vijay got Nandan killed. It was me who convinced him that the persons like Nandan do not deserve any mercy, they are not worthy of being alive…..they must be eliminated….then Vijay deployed some of his men for this task, and in the newspapers of the very next morning, you had read about the killing of a demon……and now, the city would again get up tomorrow morning with the news of the killing of another demon”.
Geetika continued “We both were forced to do all this as you people had not left any other option to us…..you people made our lives even worse than hell. Honestly we did not want any position, be it of an MP or an MLA. We wanted to just live peacefully…..as the crores of other people live in this world….but we were not allowed even that. I never wanted to become an MLA or an MP, what I wanted the most it was just to help my father as much as I could because He was the only person in my life who loved me….he was the only person I could consider my very own."
“Vijay too never wanted to be an MP or MLA,….he just wanted to work for the poor, villagers and farmers, because he liked and enjoyed it a lot…..he was doing just that. Please tell me, what was wrong in it?.....but you people did not let him do this……you people did not even spare his 4-years old daughter and killed her too. Chhaya was definitely at fault…but why her daughter?....what error did the child commit?.... The Almighty has already said in The Geeta, that sometimes, it becomes necessary to choose a morally incorrect path, to get a correct result. There is nothing wrong in it……and, we had been thinking for the last few days that we would have to choose this morally wrong path unwillingly. We did not have any choice….So we did it.”
By then, Rajini Devi was becoming unconscious of this suffering. Her body movements were gradually diminishing. Geetika was continuously looking at her. After a few minutes, Rajini Devi was lying dead there and the white foam was still coming out from her mouth profusely.
Geetika immediately telephoned Shukla ji, who was the Police Commissioner of Akbarabad division and a senior IPS officer. More than that, he was a very good, a very trusted, and old friend of the Pathak family. He always tried his best to help Pathak ji irrespective of his area of posting. Because of him only, Vaibhav had been consistently evading the Police in the past. Shukla ji picked up the phone “Hello?”
“Hello, Shukla uncle?....its me Geetika here.”
“Yes, yes, Geetika…..you have called me so late, is everything O.K.?”
“Yes, yes uncle…no problem is there as such. But here suddenly an emergency has occurred….would you please come immediately here?...please uncle, don’t say “NO”….its an extremely urgent situation here……and please come alone.”
Shukla ji immediately arrived there alone by driving his personal vehicle. He was shell-shocked when he saw the dead body of Rajini Devi at the balcony. Geetika made him calm down and then explained him everything in detail. After knowing and understanding the whole thing he assured Geetika that everything would be done exactly in the manner which She wanted it to be in. He further asked her not to worry about anything.
Next morning ,the headlines on the front pages of the leading newspapers were like “ The mother of the party president of Shramshakti Party and newly-elected MLA Mrs. Geetika Pathak, Smt. Rajini Devi passes away due to massive heart attack last night. She was 70-years old…"
Vijay's hearings related to the assassination case of Pathak ji continued for the next one-and-half years but yielded no conclusive results. The case could not proceed in any decisive direction. Despite their best of efforts, both the CIA and the Akbarabad Police could not prove Vijay guilty. Finally, the CIA and The Akbarabad police filed the closure report in the High Court and pleaded that due to the lack of strong and decisive pieces of evidence, it was very difficult to proceed with the case, and as far as the case against Vijay Raj Mishra was concerned, the police and the CIA could even frame and file the charge-sheet in the High Court, that too even after almost two years, thus the case should be terminated there a the agencies could not prosecute him. Heavily criticizing to both the CIA and The Akbarabad Police, Hon'ble Akbarabad High Court absolved Vijay of all the charges and declared the V.P. Pathak-K.P. Mishra double murder case as closed.
Geetika married to Vijay after his victory in that court case. Vijay started an NGO named “Annadata India" which was devoted to the causes of the farmers. Geetika, on the other hand, suddenly left the active electoral politics after serving a full term as an MLA and then a full term as an MP. She then joined the organization of her husband and dedicated herself wholeheartedly to it.
This very organization “Annadata India” had just won the prestigious Magsaysay Award for this year in social service category after 25 years of service to the farmers and the T.V channels had been broadcasting news regarding this achievement since morning today.
It was 1.30 AM by the clock but Geetika was still awake. She was still thinking about 25 years back. She was not sleeping and She was looking at Vijay continuously. After a few minutes, suddenly Vijay got up. Geetika put her hands on his shoulders and asked “what happened Vijay?” Vijay said in a bit lazy voice “would you bring some water please?... I feel thirsty." Geetika stood up and She moved towards the refrigerator for a glass of water for Vijay.