The Inseparable Twins
The Inseparable Twins9 mins 317 9 mins 317
Rupa sat twirling her hair in a meditative mood. It was the cawing of the crow which had reminded her of another morning five years back. It was strange how a perfume, a sound or even a strain of music could bring back memories of times long past. She tried to block out the image which was so vivid and graphic that it seemed it had happened just the day before. On that memorable morning also as it was on that particular morning a bunch of crows had assembled on the sprawling branches next to the drawing room and were indulging in a racket for no apparent reason. She remembered with a poignant pain stabbing her heart that Deesha, her twin sister had left the house in a frenzy of emotion on such a morning not to be heard of again.
Normally Deesha was cool-headed and nothing unruffled her. She was soft-spoken and never gave into an emotional outburst but what triggered her into an unfathomable explosion of pent up feelings was hard to understand. That morning their mother had happened to make an innocuous remark, “I did not expect this from you” and to everybody’s shock, Deesha looked around like a wounded deer, and rushed out of the room as if it was the only way that she could save any vestige of life still in her.
Rupa missed her sister very much. They were so close that they could not imagine ever staying apart. It was such fun having a twin. As soon as she got up from sleep, there was Deesha, her play mate, ready to join in all the games that Rupa liked. The two little girls had their secrets to share. Besides they had a wide array of pretty dresses to show off for they could slip into each other’s frocks whenever they pleased, or giggle in unison at every joke. But what Rupa found most enjoyable was when their teacher in school pulled up Deesha for Rupa’s not completing her home-work, mistaking one for the other. They would also be in splits of laughter imagining the outcome when their respective husbands also mistook their identity. As they grew up together, the bond between the sisters became stronger. But character- wise Rupa was the restless one, always up to some prank but Deesha was sedate and gentle.
What made Deesha leave home, no one could understand. But the very fact that her sister could decide to stay away from her, hurt Rupa’s feelings tremendously. For a few months, there was a frantic search for Deesha but when all efforts seemed to bear no results, they had to accept the turn of events.
In the beginning, Rupa would sit morose and depressed, not being able to endure the separation but when there is no option, one has to move on. And so she did. Rupa went to college, graduated with an LLB degree and focused on a legal career. Rupa had a clear head, the ability to speak out convincingly and a rational, intelligent mental make -up. People came to know her as a good lawyer and difficult cases were brought to her .So it was that on one occasion a case that happened to be very critical came to her as she was considered to be the fittest person to deal with it. If the advocate was unable to plead the case well, the penalty could be death.
A lady from the higher echelon of society was found to be in possession of a large quantity of cocaine. Rupa debated with herself whether she should take up the case, as to defend the miscreant who was destroying the lives of millions, seemed to be an equally deplorable offence. But when she was informed that the lady was absolutely innocent and was being framed by a gang of traffickers, she decided that she had to take up the case to bring the real culprits to book. She requested the client to be brought to her after she got bail.
Rupa got a start when her client entered her chamber. A chic lady, attired in western dress, with her hair styled like a boy walked in daintily on stilettos. Rupa’s heart almost stopped beating. She jumped up at once and rushed towards her. She put both her arms around her and crushed her against her side. She was no other than her long lost sister, her twin. Deesha also clung on to her like a child would do to her mother and burst into tears. As the sisters sat in close embrace, Rupa tried to find out what had happened to her sister in the intervening years when she had disappeared. Deesha was most reluctant to say anything about herself but Rupa’s winning ways and her soft soothing words brought out Deesha’s tormented past like hot fuming lava from a dormant volcano.
Rupa’s first query was why Deesha had left the house in the first place. This was something she could not understand at all and it was haunting her mind ever since. Deesha incoherently said something below her breath and tried avoiding the issue. But when Rupa reminded her of the close inseparable bond between them, Deesha blurted out everything in a flow of words about her past six years, punctuated between sobs and intermittent sniffing.
Rupa was shocked to hear from her sister what the actual truth was. Everybody in the family took it for granted that Deesha was the personification of an angel, very sweet-tempered and an exemplary, ideal personality. Actually she was finding it very difficult to maintain that estimate of her. She wanted to be normal, naughty like all the children of her age---she could not live up to an assumed image. She wanted to be up to mischief and even misbehave at times. But no, not Deesha—all the people around her expected her to be perfect. In the end, her nerves snapped---she could not take it anymore! In the end, the constant rebellion within her, burst all bounds. She wanted to be free –free of the shackles, imposed on her by people’s unrealistic expectations from her.
She had rushed out, not knowing what she was going to do or where she was going. Once the initial frenzy had subsided, she tried to decide on her future course. To save face, she could not think of going back. Then one by one the possibilities came to her mind, but she discarded them all, knowing they would not be feasible in day to day life. Then a thought flashed across her mind—it took shape, became magnified and loomed large and clear.
The next door neighbour, a strapping boy of twenty-five had proposed to her. He was no doubt handsome and had a good manly figure. And by the way he drove around in his sleek red car he was presumably a moneyed person. She had often seen him in a drunken brawl, but what of that. It made him all the more attractive as a prospective match. At that time she had declined the offer of marriage as how could a girl who was supposed to be the epitome of perfection acquiesce to a proposal from such a character! But now she wanted to run wild and that she did by contacting Shiva and letting him know that she would be more than happy to marry him.
The ensuing years were a nightmare for her. Every day he would come home drunk, assault her and use despicable language which would bruise her through and through. He had shady characters as his friends. He had introduced her to them and expected her to be the respectable façade behind which they could carry on their underhand transactions. She had no idea what they were dealing in but she could surmise that their business was not respectable. Many times police had also come to investigate but what they were after she could not gauge. Shiva was never in the house when the police came round. But one day it happened he was at home in some sort of discomfort and was writhing in pain. He had not been able to procure some drug he had got addicted to. But as the police van rolled in luckily there was an urgent call from somewhere else, so they had to leave abruptly. Deesha felt very insecure and hated herself for mindlessly getting embroiled in the mess. Rupa asked her sister about the shady business but Deesha said her husband was very secretive about it. Rupa now made up her mind to bring the matter to the notice of the police.
Rupa then had a brain-wave. She figured out how she could get to the bottom of the truth. She told her twin that she would go home to their house as Deesha, and she would pose as Shiva’s wife. Without delay, she switched into Deesha’s clothing and cut her hair in the same style. But the problem arose when she tried to balance on the stilettos. As she was not used to them, she nearly broke the heels!
With great trepidation she ventured towards Deesha’s house for she did not want Shiva to find out who she was. Then her legal brain started to work. She had bought the best quality liquor available and told Shiva that it was for celebrating their wedding anniversary. The sight of so many bottles made Shiva tremble with excitement .Peg after peg he gulped down and finding them irresistible he drank like a fish. Then after he had had too much, he started to blurt out all about his partners in crime. He named them all one by one and stated that the police had got to know about their nefarious dealings, but they had been smart enough to put them off the scent. When Rupa asked him how it had been possible, instead of replying, he threatened to bash her face for asking so many questions. Rupa had video-taped every word Shiva had stated but at the crucial moment when she wanted him to admit that they were the ones who had planted the cocaine parcel with Deesha’s name on it, Shiva stopped ranting. It would be difficult to get her twin exonerated without his statement. Then Rupa used her legal proficiency to compel him to toe the line.
At this juncture Rupa felt it was best to reveal her identity and let him know that she was a criminal lawyer. She told Shiva very firmly that she had had already video-taped his statement and if he did not confess that the cocaine belonged to them and Deesha was innocent, she would see to it that he would get the death penalty. Then as he was under the influence of liquor even at that point of time, Shiva started to sob .He fell on his knees and pleaded that he would give up his shady business and confess to whatever she demanded if she would only save him from the capital punishment.
Next day Rupa asked Shiva to come to her chamber. She advised him to voluntarily ask for Rehabilitation, as Drug Addicts by doing so would get exemption from any stiff penalty. The traffickers did as Rupa advised. Deesha went back to her home. Her parents were especially understanding and considerate. The Twins were extremely happy as once more they had each other and despite the intervening years the bond between had become even stronger as they both had missed each other. Shiva would be out from the Rehabilitation Centre a reformed man and Deesha looked forward to a bright and beautiful future with him.