AUTHOR'S NOTE: This new OS is a continuation from the Yesterday scene from the One Shot: Yesterday and Tomorrow: Fears (http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3930183). Please read that portion--if you havent--- and I hope you enjoy my take on Rudra's possessiveness.
The discussion on the forum for the past two days, all about whether Rudra even realizes that his possessiveness over Paro has crossed "Prisoner-Jailor" and into serious obsession was the inspiration for this OS. If Rudra has to face the reality of Paro no longer being his "witness," what would he do? Would Paro understand that it was the man and not the BSD that was controlling her every breath? Would Rudra ever admit that no one could have her--not even a small part of her--- but Rudra? Read on!
YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW: POSSESSION (PART EIGHT)
YESTERDAY--The Bus driver huffed in exasperation as he
slowed down. Ahead of him was a BSD road check post. This meant another delay,
and he would have to stop and let the army men do their interfering nonsense. If
it had been a simple police barricade, the driver would have speeded up--but no sane
man ignored the BSD. He'd get into Jaipur even later than he had hoped. It was
upsetting. Jaipur was only 45 miles away at this point, and he had a bus full of
irritable passengers. But still--being a man from Neelsikri, a border village close to
Birpur, the driver knew what those BSD-walos could do. Had they not destroyed
the Thakur of Birpur? If the BSD were
here...better to just give in, he thought with a slight shudder.
Right across the dusty road were barbed-wire barricades, and jeeps carrying the BSD personnel crowded the road on either end. The driver got out his papers, hoping that the army men would get to him quickly since there wasn't much of a line. This route into Jaipur was not a very popular one as it served several villages, and so it was slower than most of the direct lines. What were they looking for?
Out of the window, through the gathering purple darkness of
the evening, the bus driver noticed that proper licenses were the last thing on
the BSD's mind. They ignored the trucks with men holding out their documents,
and focused on buses, vans and microbuses carrying passengers. A search for a
specific person, then--maybe an escaped convict? As the driver watched the army
men working through the queue ahead of him, he realized his guess was right.
The army was out hunting, not on some routine traffic duty. But the BSD, grim and purposeful, were not out here in full force for a man, or even for a group of wanted criminals. They were shining their torches into the faces of only the young women, ignoring the older bai-sas and women with children and families. An army checkpoint, a full BSD unit searching frantically---for an auraat?
He had found her. This morning, Rudra had come to the BSD from his quarters, for the first time in two weeks. Naturally, he had automatically headed to her cell to check on her. The danger that surrounded Parvati was much less vital, now that the Thakur's men had mostly been killed or captured. Still, the Thakur had escaped... and Parvati was still a target. Some prickling sense of dread had forced Rudra to come to the HQ this morning, even though he was still supposed to be under complete bed-rest. All night, he had felt---restless. Still recovering from vicious injuries, Rudra had made the mistake of waiting until the morning to come and see his prisoner. And then, as he headed towards Paro's cell, he had seen the running BSD personnel.
The nightmare had begun.
Since the raid at the Thakur's Haveli, slowly, almost imperceptibly, Parvati had been given more and more freedom within the BSD HQ. She was not followed by guards everywhere, there were no regular check-ins on her location, she came and went from her quarters as she pleased. With the Major still recovering from the torture and unable to keep up his obsessive watch over the sole Birpur witness, this very morning, Parvati had simply walked out of the Camp and disappeared.
The roadblocks, the calls, the coordination of every available unit. Sending out local informants, setting up checkpoints, emailing division heads, calling up reinforcements. Rudra's entire morning was spent on strategy while his every sense screamed at him to get into a car, go out to FIND her. But, ruthlessly he had tamped down panic, instinct and a roaring sense of loss. He had gone about the search methodically, with his robotic efficiency.
Not even Aman had guessed at the boiling rage and sheer terror that was behind every calm, clipped order. Without mentioning Parvati's name, or giving out her description, to avoid suspicion, it had Rudra taken time to find out where she was headed, and to locate the bus depot she had bought her ticket from. Paro, too innocent to disguise her movements from a determined, absolutely terrified and furious hunter, had been easy to track.
Once her guard had confessed to Rudra that he had told the prisoner where her Mami-sa was living, Rudra knew where she was headed. Rudra, the General and Aman had all been careful to keep Mami-sa's exact location from Parvati. They wanted her to stay safe and not want to go to Jaipur, where they would not have been able to guarantee her safety. But the man who watched over her, her personal constable Ram Mohan had not been able to go on seeing Parvati cry night after night, as she worried for her family.
He would be punished. They all would be, the guards, the army men at the gates, the junior officers, the bus driver, the ticket seller. Everyone. But first he had to get her back.
And finally, at the end of one of the worst days of Rudra's life, the bus carrying Parvati to her Mami-sa had been spotted at the check point 45 miles out of Jaipur. Rudra had boarded the bus himself. There, squashed in the seat next to a fat sleeping farmer and staring at him out of wide, shocked eyes, sat the prisoner Parvati. The nightmare was over.
He had found her. And now she was going to wish that he never had.
"Kaha ja rahi thi tu? Kiske paas? Ashiq hai Jaipur
pe, teri rah dekh rahi hai? Usko bhi khatam kaar dalu? Jallad hu, naa! Aadat
ban gayi, teri yaar ko maar dal ne ka! Lekin bus pe qu? Teri yaar ki pas
paisa nahi hai, jo third class bus ticket bhej diya? Main Line ki ticket bhi
nahi! Paro...Tu BSD ka itna bara witness, tujhe sevah karne ke liye hum hai
na! Jeep bhi hai, aur time bhi hai mere paas!! Chaal, muje leke chaal, mila de teri yeh
bechain ashiq se! Mein bhi dekhu kaun tuje itni zor se khich rahe hai!!"
(Eng: "Where were you going? To whom? Is there a lover in Jaipur, waiting for you? Should I finish him off too? I'm a Jallad, right? It's become a habit for me, to kill your boyfriends. But why this bus? Doesn't your lover have money, why has he sent you a third class bus ticket to go to him? Not even a ticket on one of the Main Lines?? Why, Paro? You are such a big witness for BSD, serving you would be an honor for me! I have the Jeep right here, I have the time, why don't you I take you to him, and also get to meet your lover, the one who's waiting for you so desperately? Let me meet the man who is dragging you to him with such force!!")
Uttered in a voice of venom, the words that Rudra spat at her made no sense. Seriously unnerved by the odd, reflective gleam in the Major's eyes, Parvati looked desperately around for help. There was no one here other than her and the Jallad.
Her wrists pinched in manacles of steel, she had been taken out of the bus by a totally silent Rudra and had been brought here, to the local BSD station. Paro had grown slowly more and more frightened as Rudra had dismissed the Officer-In-Charge, and thrown her into a chair in the windowless room. She wanted to explain about Mami-sa waiting in Jaipur, about the cheap bus ticket she had managed to pay for by selling her nose-pin.
Normally she would have responded back to him with at least some token of resistance. She would have held her head up high, giving back word for word, and secretly enjoyed it, too. But there was a time for self-respect and a time for self-preservation. Right now, there was something in Rudra's voice, in his hooded, manic eyes that warned Paro that he was literally dangerous.
Paro realized that her rebellious journey had been a very
bad idea, and that Rudra was holding onto his control by the thinnest of
threads. She had been sitting quietly in the control room, as Rudra sat across
her, interrogating her ruthlessly. Now, starting to her feet, she backed away,
and he immediately approached her, like an animal cornering its prey through
pure, carnivorous instinct. His eyes
became even more intense, and Paro, scared by their expression, edged closer to
Instantly, she was caught in a punishing grip that had her gasping in pain. "Nahi Paro. Ab aur nahi. Tujhe pakar liya, phir yeh haat pe aa gaya hai tu. Teri andaaz nahi hai teri saat kya ho sakh thi thi. Ek lauti gava hai, ek pura Terrorist group ka khilaf. Aur tu BSD escape karne pe tuli hai! Teri himmat...! Kaha jana tha? Kiss ke pass? Kaun hai, woh? Sach bata, nahi to teri anjaam kya hogi woh mein bhi nahi bol sakta."
"No, Paro. Not again. I've caught you, you are in my grip again. You don't have any idea what could have happened to you. You are the sole witness against an entire Terrorist group. And you are trying to escape from the BSD!! You have the audacity...! Where were you going? Who were you running off to? Who is he? Tell me the truth, if you don't, even I don't know what will end happening to you."
Paro by now wanted to babble everything to this Jallad who
was regarding her with controlled violence emanating from his stiff body. The
honeyed, drawling tone delivering barb after barb was in complete contrast to
the swirling fury in Rudra's expression. The contrast was much more unnerving
than a simple display of temper would have been.
Paro kept silent--- She could tell that he was well beyond reason right now. He was not speaking TO her so much as to someone he saw in his mind's eye, and she was absolutely sure that nothing she said right now would be believed. She needed an intermediary, someone who would calm the Major down.
At this inauspicious moment, Aman, knocked on the door and walked
into the control room. Paro half-hysterical, immediately turned and ran to her Aman
Bhaiya. She had been seriously frightened by Rudra's questions. Even for a man
she knew to be unpredictable and strange, the Major was acting completely unbalanced. She
wanted Aman to stay there, to help her. Hugging the startled officer as she
cried, Paro begged him to make Rudra just
listen. Now her story poured out, and she confessed her small crime to both
the BSD officers.
She was going to Jaipur, where her Mami-sa was! She had sold her nosepin for the ticket money! She was sorry, she hated the BSD camp, hated staying in a cell, having no one to be with, to talk to! There was no freedom for her there, no life--and she was no longer a prisoner, now that her innocence was known. She was not saying she would not help the BSD-she knew her duty, of course she would. But she could be with her Mami-sa in Jaipur and still be a witness! She wanted to go home! She had helped with the Birpur case, there was nothing more they could expect from her by keeping her locked up like an animal---she wanted to go home!
Aman's stern expression softened, as he awkwardly patted the sobbing girl, causing her to cry harder as he hugged her. Taking out keys, Aman removed the manacles around her wrists. Aman tried to soothe Parvati, wiping at her tears as he told her to calm down, that they would work something out, she would be fine.
This sight propelled the Major into an almost rabid fury. He lost every vestige of control, as he mind snapped like a tensile rope under too much stress. Snarling a curse, Rudra launched across the room, vaulting across the table and viciously yanking Paro away from Aman's comforting hold. Pushing the shaking girl into a corner, Rudra positioned himself in front of her, fists clenched as if he was just looking for an excuse to attack. Rudra stared at Aman with blatant threat, and for a moment, Aman thought that his commanding officer was having trouble actually remembering who he was. Aman tried to smile at Paro, offering her some reassurance. A possessive, ruthless expression became visible on the Major's face.
Aman warily eyeing the man across the room, tried logic: "Sir, Parvati is scared. Please let her explain why she left the BSD HQ in a calm and rational manner. Treating her so harshly will not help, and if she had any reason to go to Jaipur, to visit a relative or for any reason, she will tell us. We really should consider allowing her to stay with her family, how much longer will she, an innocent girl, stay in a cell in the BSD HQ? She had not hidden anything from us in the past, I agree that iss tarah bhag ke nahi ana tha usko. Ho sakh ta hai this was a mistake on her part. Usske baat sun leh te hai sir."
Paro, crying softly, sank to the floor, hiding her face in her shaking hands.
"Yaha se jaa, Aman. Abhi, issi waqt--jaa" (Eng: "Get out, Aman. Get the hell out of here--right now") was all the response his reasonable speech got. Feeling deeply sorry for the sobbing girl cowering in the corner, Aman reached out to help Paro get up. His hand was repulsed by a grip of iron.
"Usko. Choona. Mat." (Eng: "Don't. Touch. Her.") That was all Rudra that said--- but his voice, guttural and heavy with warning sounded alarm bells in the poor junior officer's head. Aman, reading in the inferno-eyes how near to death he'd come in the past five minutes, now quickly left the room. His heart went out to the poor girl but right now, Major Ranawat was too volatile to listen to him or to anyone else. He would have the General speak to Rudra. But for right now...sometimes, even for an army man, retreat was the better part of valor.
Paro, still on the floor, felt the heat of Rudra's body as he knelt down before her. He was so close, she could no longer feel the chill. It was as if the cold night air itself was backing away from the inferno shimmering from Rudra's body. Even kneeing, his presence loomed over her, his massive shoulders blocking out the room's light, the single beam slanting across molten eyes and thick hair. Some trick of that beam left the lower half of Rudra's striking face in darkness. Half dark, half light, wholly deadly.
Mesmerized by the contrast, forgetting her tears, Paro looked into the intent, possessive eyes that pinned her to where she sat. Looking at her seemed to calm the Major. Tension seeped out of him, dissipating into the stillness between them. Locked muscles now relaxed as Rudra sat looking at the unhappy beauty sitting before him.
Paro was startled when the Jallad started to stroke and examine her hands and wrists with careful fingers, checking for bruises. When he reached Paro's shoulders, she winced. Molten eyes flew to meet wet hazel ones, and dropped, as if in shame. Rudra focused and intent on her every reaction, rubbed her tender skin in small circles to soothe the ache.
Without apologizing, he now apologized, as he slowly, carefully tried to ease her pain. Rudra took out a white handkerchief, and almost caressingly used it to wipe Paro's cheeks dry. His fingers grazed across silky, plump lips, and his eyes seemed to get even darker. He wrapped her shawl tighter across her shoulders, smoothing the folds down her body.
Without knowing how much pressure to apply, he tried to smooth her hair off her face, accidentally pulling at the silky locks. Paro flinched, and the Jallad immediately gentled his touch.
It was as if, now that the Jallad had Paro with him, acquiescent and quiet, he could not stop himself from cosseting her. Since he had obviously never done this before, his concern and worry came out in overly-rough, awkward tenderness.
This concern was such a contrast to his cruelty from just minutes before, Paro felt disoriented. As if she was dealing with two different men, both with the same face---the bold, cruel, handsome face that would not let her sleep. She would forever be haunted by these two versions of the same man, Paro thought, despairingly. And she did not know which Rudra she feared more.
The Jallad with the blazing eyes, or the tender man with the caring hands.
The jeep was pulled up to the control room entrance. Wrapped
in her shawl, her wrist as always clamped in his grip, Paro was bundled
into the Jeep's passenger seat. Rudra himself would be driving her back to the
BSD HQ in Chandigarth. A four hour trip lay before them. Aman had initially
gotten into the jeep with them both as he had driven down to the roadblock with
Rudra, AND since this was his jeep. But a glare from the Major's fierce hawkish
eyes made him scramble out and decide to take the BSD personnel van back to HQ
Paro was now alone with the Jallad. Strangely enough, he didn't seem so frightening anymore. Exhaustion has taken its toll, and Paro felt weightless, like an un-tethered kite floating in the Rajasthani sky. Perhaps the strings of her life had never been in her hands. The night sky above them looked almost silver with the myriad twinkling stars as the two of them drove through silent, grey shaded dunes.
The Jallad stopped twice, the first time to buy her something to eat from a roadside dhaba, and the second time to shrug off his leather jacket and force her to wear it. Paro had resisted, but when she was asked whether she enjoyed being force-fed by a killer, and if she wanted to be stripped and made to wear his jacket by force, she gave in. Snuggled into a jacket four times larger than herself, Paro now breathed in the wintergreen and ice scent that was Major Rudra Pratap Ranawat.
This trip was a marked contrast to the uncomfortable, scary bus ride she had taken just hours before. No one had leered at her, no one had tried to grab her arm, taking advantage of a beautiful girl alone in a bus stop. At the dhaba, the young man who was acting over-eager to catch her attention had taken one look at the blazing eyes of her silent companion before backing away. She had not eaten all day, not having enough money for both a ticket and food. But now she was pleasantly full, comfortable, and lulled into calm by the silent, protective man driving her back to her prison. The warmth of the jacket soothed her, and, almost half asleep, Paro asked the question that had been in her mind all evening.
"Aap meri ssath itni gussa kyu hai? Aap jaanta
tha meri Mami sa Jaipur mein hai. Mei uske paas jaa raha tha. Mein kyu BSD ka
koi cell pe rahu? Mera ek jeevan hai, ek parivaar hai. Mein koi terrorist nahi
hu, jo BSD ke kaidey mein rehna hoga. Yeh
baat aap sab jaan chuke hai. Mera haq hai meri khud ki zindagi ki faisla khud
(Eng: "Why are you so angry with me? You knew that my aunt is in Jaipur. I was going to her. Why should I go on staying inside a BSD cell? I have a life, a family. I am not a terrorist, that I have to stay like a BSD prisoner. This is something you all know very well. I have the right to make my own decisions about my own life.")
Paro thought he would not answer, even though she knew he had heard her words. His hands had tightened on the steering wheel, his jaw tensed into stone. For almost a mile, the silence between them, previously restful and calm, now shimmered with darkness. Then, out of that darkness, a black, seething voice answered her.
"Baat yeh nahi ke tu uske paas jaa raha tha. Baath yeh hai ke tu jaa raha tha. BSD ka hai tu. Tu acchi tarah se yeh jaan le--BSD ek bar kissi ko cheen leti hai duniya se, to uski laash hi kaid se azad hoti hai, zinda insaan nahi.
Aur teri liye teri zindegi bhi BSD ki, aur teri maut bhi ---teri ruh, jaan, tann man, jo bhi hai---aab sub kuch BSD ka hai. Yeh baat tu samaj le, aur accept kar. Tu terrorist hai yah civilian--Yeh baat nahi badalne wali. Teri saat jo bhi hoga, ab BSD tai karegi. Tu nahi. Yeh teri baad-kismati hai, manta hu, lekhin tu ab BSD ka kaidi hai, aur BSD ka hi rahegi. "
(Eng:"The point is not that you were leaving to go to her. The point is that you were leaving. You belong to the BSD. Get this firmly into your head--once the BSD capture someone, the only way the prisoner escapes that hold is when he is a corpse, not when he is still living.
And for you, your life is the BSD's and your death, too. Your body, mind, soul whatever there is---every last part of you is now the BSD's. You need to understand this, and you need to accept it. Whether you are a terrorist or a civilian--that's not important. You belong to the BSD. That is not going to change.
Whatever happens to you, whatever decision has to be taken about you--all of it will be decided by the BSD. Not you. I agree that this is your misfortune, your bad luck. That is unfortunate. But you belong to the BSD now, and that is where you will stay.")
If Paro had been more in control of herself and less troubled by the sheer insanity of the Jallad's words, she would never have said out loud what she was thinking. But the day's overwhelming incidents, the shock of being captured like a criminal when all she had done was left the HQ---it meant she no longer had control over her tongue. So, she asked, softly----"BSD ka kaidi...ya aap ka?" (am I the BSD's prisoner---or yours?")
Feral eyes snapped towards her, as the Jeep shuddered to a screeching halt in the middle of the road. The sudden break threw Paro forward, but she instantly felt the Jallad's arm across her, holding her back into her seat. Of course. The Jallad would be alert to even this. She was not allowed to be hurt, she thought vaguely to herself.
And then the Jallad quietly responded to her question, conviction ringing through his tone. And all of Paro's previous lassitude and calm evaporated as if it had never existed within her in the first place.
"Mera. Sirf mera."
THE YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW SERIES-ENJOY!
Topic started by napstermonster
Last replied by arzooRR