In this part there will be a lot of drama
as Shyam has been provoked to the hilt. Read on to find out what this drama is
all about. I understand if not many are in the mood to read. I am myself
finding it difficult to continue writing. I am planning to finish this as soon
as possible but I have lots more drama planned. Let's see how it goes. I think
it hastily written so it may be a little sloppy in part. I am a little sick
with throat infection. So lots of excuses. '.
Night Dawning ' Part11
the Raizada family sitting on the lawn enjoying their tea. Anjali, the darling
sister was sitting between her two loving brothers and was laughing in her
usual exuberant style. He could see the love in her eyes as she looked
affectionately at Arnav.
sitting there brooding, probably because of the conversation they had just had.
Always behaving like he had the weight of the entire world on his shoulders.
was Naniji, the matriarch of the family, Mamaji, Mamiji, Payal and Akash ' all
of them sickeningly devoted to Arnav Singh Raizada. And why not? They all
depended on him for their survival.
Khushi ' she seemed happy sitting there in the middle of the group. But then,
his Khushiji was always like that. She had the ability to hide her true
around and walked away as fast as his legs could take him. A fierce rage had
started within him. If he went and joined the group for tea he wouldn't be able
put on the faade of civility that he usually did in their presence. He needed to vent.
Shyam's raging thoughts, the Raizada family listened in rapt attention to the
waiter who had served them tea and pakodas. He told them that in the year 1911,
a 49 year old spiritualist Lady Frances Garnett-Orme, had come to stay at the
hotel Savoy with her companion from Lucknow, Lady Eva Mountstephan, also a
spiritualist who specialized in sances and crystal-gazing. One morning after
Miss Mountstephan had returned to Lucknow, Lady Frances was found dead. She had
been poisoned by her friend. Though Lady Mountstephan she was arrested later,
the court had acquitted her for lack of evidence. Since then it was believed by
the locals that the hotel was being haunted by the spirit of Lady Frances
waiting for justice to be served.
'There is a
gh'ghost in this hotel?' stuttered mamiji after the waiter had left, 'Let's
move to another hotel pleeej.'
no such things as ghosts Manorama,' said mamaji consoling his wife, 'He was
just trying to entertain us because we asked him to explain its history.'
feel very dizzy and weak,' she shivered.
because of over eating, first at lunch and then these pakodas. Let me take you
up to the room for some medication and rest.'
As soon as
they left, Akash excused himself to take Payal to Camel's Back Road which was a
3 km stretch where they could have a sun set view of the Himalayas while they
strolled along side it.
Arnav got a phone from the office and he walked away so he could talk in
looked at her brother and then at Khushi who was looking at his retreating back
wistfully. Anjali felt a little sad for Khushi who was saddled to her
workaholic, unromantic brother. She suddenly realized that Shyam had not joined
them for tea. She wondered what was keeping him. She dialled his number.
phone began to ring. It was his devoted wife. He cut the phone. He didn't know
why she bothered to care for him when the only person she really cared for was
her brother ' her chotte. She would
never love anyone the way she loved him. They shared a very special bond, she
said. In all the years he was married to her, he had never once seen that waver
even once. And vice-versa. He had
seen evidence of that on the night of Payal and Akash's wedding. He had gone
ahead and married Khushi just so that he could save his precious Di's marriage.
and he had been married, she had showered him with so much love and affection
that he had started to feel that he was a stray dog that she had picked off the
streets. What else would you call such blind devotion? She was a princess from
a palace and he was a pauper from the slums. The same went for the entire
Raizada family who smothered him with their patronizing attitude. But the worst
was Arnav. He had made sure his poor brother-in-law would move into the mansion
so that his beloved sister could live in luxury and style. He had even made
provisions for a regular income to be deposited into his individual account as
he very well knew that his poor brother-in-law wouldn't be able to take care of
his high maintenance sister with a meagre lawyer's salary. Not that he was
complaining. In fact that was exactly why
he had married her.
remembered the day he had accidently stumbled against Anjali in the temple so
many years ago. He had helped her regain her balance when he realized that she
walked with a limp and had helped her to her car. He had figured out right then
that she came from a well to do family. He had been right. He had dug out her entire
bio-data in couple of days. The only girl of the Raizada family, had no parents
and lived with her younger brother, a grandmother and uncle's family. It had
not been difficult to beguile her with his charm. Even then, Arnav had his
reservations but had bowed down to the wishes of his sister. After that the
other members of the Raizada family had welcomed him with open arms.
He hated them. These condescending,
overbearing rich people who thought the world revolved around them. Especially,
Arnav Singh Raizada!
He had seen
the way he had treated Khushi in the beginning. He had made her life hell. But
that had soon changed. He was sure that it was her beauty that had mesmerised
him. He only wanted to use her until his needs were satisfied. And it was his
duty to protect Khushi from people like him. She and he were one of a kind- meant for each other.
had threatened him that he would be kicked out of RM once the baby arrived.
That could mean only one thing -that he had made a will. He must have left the
entire property in the name of his darling sister. How dare he put an end to
his best laid plans? He had worked years for this.
The root cause of all his problems - Arnav Singh Raizada. It would be so
convenient if this root cause were to vanish from the face of the earth. With
him gone, Anjali would inherit all his property. After that it would just be a
cake walk for him. Then Khushi and he would live happily ever after.
Lost in his
thoughts, Shyam almost missed seeing the object of his hatred walk right past,
along the path heading for the cliff side. He was on his phone completely
oblivious of the world around him. A sudden breeze had picked up, dust and
leaves flying in all directions. Shyam watched as Arnav walked dangerously
close to the edge. He began to walk
As the wind
continued its wild objection, Naniji suggested that they should move into their
rooms as the weather seemed to be getting worse. As Khushi walked next to
Anjali she felt a stab of anxiety. Where
was Arnav? He had left half an hour ago when he got a call on his phone. He
should have been back. Khushi felt a steadily escalating sense of foreboding
which she couldn't understand. The trio went into the hotel's lobby, moving
towards the elevator which would take them to their rooms.
couldn't think. One moment he was talking on his phone and the next moment he
was flying. He felt himself falling, it was probably just seconds and then
suddenly he stopped just as suddenly. He opened his eyes to see that he was stuck
on a tree that grown in the side of a cliff. He carefully balanced himself and
tried to find a grip using his hand so that his entire body weight did not rest
on the flimsy branch. It was very tricky. How had this happened? Had he been so
close to the edge that a gust of wind had pushed over the edge? Right now all
he could think was to keep himself alive. He had so much to do. What would happen to hi Di? Who would take
care of her? And Khushi. There was so much he had to tell her.
Khushi! he whispered in anguish.
suddenly turned her head toward the entrance expecting to see ------ he wasn't
hear that Di?' she asked Anjali.
Khushiji?' asked Anjali perplexed at the way Khushi was looking back at the
'I heard ''
someone calling out for me.' Anjali saw anxiety in Khushi's eyes.
the story about this hotel had scared you Khushiji,' she said softly, 'Don't
worry it is just an old wives tale made up by the hotel staff to entertain the
Anjali and Naniji to their respective rooms, Khushi opened the door to her room.
She shut it back again and turned around, walking as fast as she could. She
entered the woods and took the path that led towards the valley. The wind
howled through the trees, the light fading quickly as clouds covered the skies
Shyam was on
his way back to Delhi. He had caught a bus that would take him to Delhi by
night fall. He had called Anjali and informed her that he had some urgent work
for which he would have to return to Delhi right away. After that, he typed
another very important message on his phone and clicked on send. He then
switched off his phone.
After walking for about 10 minutes Khushi had
reached an overlook with a view of the Doon valley. There was no sign of Arnav.
Somehow she couldn't turn back from there. She called out for him.
And then a little louder'. Arnavji?
Arnav's voice! Where was it coming from? Khushi ran toward the edge of cliff
calling out for him frantically.
'I am down
looked down and was horrified to see Arnav perched on the side of the cliff
------ his only support was a small tree that had grown out from the side of
the cliff. A tree that looked like it would give way any minute! Khushi began
to look around to see if there was any way she could help Arnav climb up from
his perch. There was nothing. She realized that there would be no time to go
back for help. And she had left her cell phone back in the room. Hey Devi
maiyya, what would she do now?
spotted a narrow ledge leading up to the place where Arnav was. She would be
able to reach him if she used some of the smaller trees that were growing on
Just as she was about to take a step, Arnav
yelled at her, 'What do you think you are doing Khushi? Go back to the hotel
and get help.'
that tree you are hanging on to might snap any moment.'
'So what do
you think you are going to achieve by coming down here? Just go!'
'No! I will
come down there and help you get out of there. You will see.'
don't you ever listen to me?'
gingerly placed her steps and went down the ledge up to the spot where Arnav
arms were at a reachable distance. She then offered her hands to Arnav to so
she could pull him up.
crazy, Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada! There is no way you will be able to
pull me up. Instead, you will slip and fall into this gorge even before me.'
realized that he might be right. Then she knew what she had to do. She lay down
flat on the ledge next to him and slipped her feet into the roots of a small
tree that had grown on it. She then asked Arnav to hold on to her. When he
asked her to go away she pleaded with him.
Arnavji, by holding on to me some of your body weight will shift so that there
is lesser pressure on the branch you are standing on. This way we have better
chances of surviving.'
into her eyes, 'Do you know what will happen if I do hold on to you and this
blinking her eyes she said, 'I know''. But that is not going to happen, I am
sure Jeeju will come looking for us very soon.'
stretched her arms down to him so that he could hold on her. Arnav realized
that this was indeed a better grip than the one he had been holding on to. When
he looked into her eyes he saw sheer determination, hope and something he had
seen in her eyes before '..in Nainital.
'Why are you
doing this Khushi?' He had to know.
not do the same for me Arnavji?' she countered. He remembered the day he had
let go of her hand in his office. Even that day he had known that she wouldn't
be seriously hurt because she would land on the boxes. Nevertheless that act
had been low even for him. He wished he could go back in time and change that.
But then, there were a lot of things he would have to change. So many things
had happened between them since then. He looked at her as they waited to be
It was more
than an hour since Khushi had come down to look for Arnav. It was completely
dark and the cold air nipped her skin. Khushi's entire body had begun to ache
now. Fear began to set in her heart as they waited. What if Akash fails to find
them? She looked at Arnav and wondered if she should tell him how she felt
about him? She should also tell him about Shyam's treachery. Hey Devi Maiyyya! Please get us out of
her safely she prayed fervently.
thoughts crossed Arnav's mind. What if they didn't make it? Should he tell
Khushi about why he married her? Should
he ask her about her relationship with Shyam?
they heard someone calling out their names. Khushi heaved a sigh of relief.
'Down here!' she yelled.
down the ledge with another man who was the hotel staff and Khushi reluctantly
let go of Arnav's arm. Akash managed to
pull up Arnav with the help of the other man. Tears ran down Khushi's face as
she realized that Arnav was finally safe. She ran up to him and hugged him.
Arnav hugged her back tightly.
this happen Chotte?' asked Anjali. They had all assembled in Khushi and Arnav's
room. A local doctor and come and examined them. He had prescribed them pain
killers and a sedative to help them sleep.
'I am not
sure Di. I was on the phone and was having a heated conversation with my
executive in London. There was too much breeze and I was having difficulty
hearing. I was walking too close to the edge. I felt a push''. It was probably
you be so careless?' she admonished, 'What would have happened if Khushiji
hadn't heard you!'
___?' Arnav turned around to stare at Khushi.
turned toward her astonished, Anjali continued, 'After the wind picked up, we deciced
to move inside. When we were in the lobby, she told me she thought someone had
called out for her. At that time I brushed it off thinking that it was because
we had all heard that ghost story. But I am assuming she followed through on
her instincts and came to find you.'
similar to the time when your voice was completely gone and Khushiji was able
to read your lips,' said Akash, 'But this time it is different. Maybe it was
the ghost of Lady Frances who led you there Khushiji.'
Akash, you are scaring your mother.' Mamaji said jovially.
Khushi and Arnav just stared at each other
unable to say anything. Anjali then ushered everyone out of the room so that
they could rest.
everyone left the room, Arnav shut the door to their room and lied down on his
side of the bed. Khushi came out of the
bathroom in her night suit and lay on the bed, switching off the bed side lamp.
Arnav put his arms on her waist and hugged her to him. They slept like that
spooned against each other, giving in to the complaints of their tired bodies,
as sleep claimed them finally.
All explanations would have to wait until
tomorrow, because tomorrow was going to be a new day.
Hey guys I hope you like it. I feel
motivated to write more when I hear from you so do comment and feel free to
give me your feedback.