Monday, 7 January 2013

Opposite Poles..Part 41

Part 41

“Aman, call a meeting of staff at 3:30.  We need to make arrangements for their transport!”  Ordered ASR.  Lavanya was in his cabin checking out the files. 
“ASR, those who have vehicles can manage themselves..!” Lavanya suggested.
“I know!” he said sternly.  She kept quiet.  

It was 3:00 in the afternoon and Lavanya called Khushi.  “You seem to be shattered, Chamakili, go home and take rest!” she said kindly.  Khushi looked at her in surprise.
“Look, Chamakili, I did not know you had an accident.  I was annoyed that you had not informed…!” said Lavanya in a softer tone.  Khushi looked down.
“Th… there is a meeting at 3:30… “ Khushi said.
“Oh! Don’t worry about that.  I will manage.  I am your boss after all!” she said smiling at Khushi.  Smile appeared on Khushi’s face too.
“You go home, now! And call me once you reach, ok?” she was really concerned.  Khushi felt better.  She nodded and came back to her cubical to collect her things.

The meeting started exactly at 3:30.  They discussed about travel arrangements.  Those who stayed nearby put their heads together and came up with solutions.  AR Designs provided all their Cars.   The farthest would leave immediately and the nearest would go later, depending upon the availability of the vehicles.  ASR requested everyone to stay at home during this period of unrest and told them that they need not attend the office.  He literally asked everyone about their arrangements.  Something was missing.  He kept looking at everyone. 
“Khushi? Where is Khushi?” he thought and answered himself.  “Must be at her place.. It would be difficult for her to walk…!”

“Ok.  I will go and inform Khushi that Smita and Prakash will take her home.  They both live nearby and Prakash has a car!” Said Rekha and went out.  She came back in a few minutes and said
“Khushi is not there…!” she looked worried.  Everyone looked at each other.  
“She is not there?” ASR was surprised.  He looked confused.
“Where is she?” no one knew where she was.   “Damn it! Where the hell she went?” ASR looked annoyed. 
“Lavanya, where is Khushi?” he asked her.
“Oh! She went home!” she said casually.  “She was not well!” she added.
“Went home? How?” ASR was angry.  “Damn this girl.  Who asked her to go home?” he clenched  his fists.
“I don’t know, ASR! She requested me and I allowed her to go home!” Lavanya said. 
“She must have gone with someone!” she said looking around.
“Damn it! No one has left the office, Lavanya!” he yelled.  She winced.
“How do I know, ASR?” she asked him back. 
“How could you be so careless?” he asked her angrily.
“Oh! Come on ASR.  She might have reached home by now! She said she will call me, after reaching home safe…!” Lavanya was upset. 
 “Why is he fussing so much about that girl?” she did not understand.  
‘Oh my god! She doesn’t even have a mobile!” Rekha exclaimed.  ASR looked worried.  

“Aman, call her home!” he ordered.  The murmur in the crowd grew.  Aman dialed Khushi’s landline. 
“..No! She hasn’t reached.  And the riots broke out in that area too!” he gave the news. 
“Keep calling …!” said ASR.  He turned his back and went out of the room.

“ASR, she will reach home..!” Lavanya went behind him and holding his hand said “This is broad daylight, ASR she will reach home safely!”
“Shut up, Lavanya! How could you?“ he snarled. 
 “Damn it! Why didn’t I give back her cell?” he banged his fist.
“ASR, coffee?” Lavanya asked brightly after some time.
“Shut up!” he was pacing restlessly.
“ASR, Stop worrying! She will reach home!” Lavanya consoled him.  He did not answer. 
“ASR, I think I should also leave, now!” she said holding his hand.  He didn’t answer.
“I am scared…!” she said weakly.  “ASR… I will leave my car here!” she said thinking.  She received no response.
“I will come with you!” she said.  ASR had picked up his car keys.  
“Yeah… I will go get my purse!” she said hurriedly.
“Aman!” he yelled.
“Make arrangements for Lavanya too! She wants to keep her vehicle here!” he said.
“No! ASR! I mean…. You…!” he had already descended the stairs.  

He was driving on the deserted roads.  The barricades hindered him everywhere.  He had to keep requesting the police that he needs to go…!  He searched all along the streets to Laxmi Nagar. 
No trace of Khushi! He turned back.  He looked around.  Every shop was closed.  There was no one on the road.  The shops were vandalized… looting, stone pelting… literally every mode of violence was used by the agitators.  Police were deployed everywhere.  They were  driving away everyone.  

ASR had to call the commissioner to allow him to drive on those roads.  There was combing operation going on to search the anti social elements and hooligans…! 
He called Aman.
“Send her photo, Aman!” he ordered.  “Whose photo?” came a question.
“Khushi’s photo, damn it!” he yelled.  He got a message… “Couldn’t find her ID photo.  Sending the trial photo…!”  ASR saw Khushi in aqua green dress…!
“Have you seen this girl, on the road?” he literally asked every policeman on the route.  He already had taken two turns on the route.  He again stopped near his office.  

“OK! She got out of the office… Its peace here… she must have gone ahead.  Next circle… its all vandalized… she must have got scared…. So changed the route… she must have taken the lane … “ his thought process now was clear…

“Take a lane…!” he drove on that lane and  was shocked.   Every shop in that small lane was burnt down…
“Damn it! Khushi!” he banged on the wheel.  He took another narrow lane…
“Where are you?” he couldn’t find her.   As the time passed, his blood pressure increased.  He was unable to think properly.  There was no call from Aman, so she had not reached home.  It was almost two hours since he was searching her desperately.  The overcast skies gave the hints of rains.  The evening darkness set in.  He still was frantically asking everyone he came across, showing her image on his cell.  
An old man had opened the door to take a look at the damage of his shop.  Arnav dashed forward and asked him showing the image.

“Don’t know bĂȘte…! God bless you!” ASR gazed unfocused.
“Um.. is there a temple nearby?” he asked the old man.
“There are quite a few here.  But everything is vandalized.  They haven’t spared a single temple also…!” The old man said in a hopeless tone.  Arnav’s heart doomed.  

“Where do I find her?” he couldn’t think.  He heard the commotion… the old man shut the door with a bang.. Arnav raced his car.   The riots on the streets broke out again.  Additional police force was summoned.  Arnav had to move on the narrow lanes… all the main roads were blocked.  

His confidence gave way… he was losing it…. He was not going to see her again… he couldn’t protect her…! He looked at her photo.  She looked all lost, tortured, insulted, humiliated, defeated in that aqua green plane dress… her glitter gone… her energy sucked out… ! He winced looking at her image.

“KHUSHI….!” He screamed in despair.   Her name echoed in his head, in his heart!  A mild breeze calmed him down… “Khushi!” he blurted.  The gust of wind returned his confidence.  He got down from the car;  Took the narrow lane, walked down the distance to find a small temple.  He went inside.  Everything was closed.  There was not even the lamp burning in front of Lord Ganesha.  Even the charity box was uprooted and broken..!  He came out crestfallen; Walked down the lane further. 

He saw saffron flags on the temple… He entered the deserted temple.  The door of the interior core part was shut.  The sanctum was closed with grilled door. He went inside.  The entire Mandir was vandalized… the lamps were broken… The huge brass bells hung overhead, were brought down.  They had tried to break open the interior door also.  The ‘Daan Peti’ had vanished.  He went further in…

“Khushi…!” she must have come here.  The idol of Devi Durga, had a smile on her face.  He looked around.  Darkness had set in.  He couldn’t see anything inside.  His heart sank…
Gust of wind brought in the fragrance of raindrops on the soil.  He inhaled… “Khushi…!” he blurted.  Looking around he tried to open the sanctum door.
“KHUSHI…!” He screamed.  He banged on the door.  
“Sir?” came a small voice.  His heart jumped out of his skin. 
“Khushi…!” he looked around.  He could sense some movement inside.  He tried to push open the door.  Someone stood from behind the idol of devi mayya. 
“Sir?” someone called out in a quivering voice.
“Khushi…!” he was desperate to open the door.  She came running around the idol.   Held the grill of the door tightly and looked at him.
“Khushi…!” his heart stopped.  His blood froze… his eyes locked on her… he touched her cheek.  She broke down.

“Khushi.. can you open the door?” he asked her.
“ye.. yes!” she said getting up and unlatched the door pulling it open.  He stepped inside.  She was trembling uncontrollably.
“Khushi…” he gripped her shoulders, taking a sigh of relief.
“S…Sir.. woh… !” she couldn’t speak. 
“Its ok!” he stopped her, looking around.  He saw the matchbox.  He ignited the lamp.  The idol brightened with light.  Khushi looked at her Sir!
He turned to her and said.  “Let us go!” she closed her eyes and joined her hands to pray.

“Stop it!” he yelled.  “We need to move from this place.”  The commotion was nearing…!
“Devi mayya!” she opened her mouth.
“Shut up! We have to move out! Your Devi Mayya is not coming to rescue us!” he said sarcastically. 
“What?” she was shocked.  He pulled her holding her hand.
“Come on!” he was furious.  The commotion had reached the corner. 
“You… you…!” Khushi was dragged hastily.  “Chalo!” he yelled.  They had moved out and there came a petrol bomb swirling towards the mandir.  

“Khushi…!” he screamed pulling her along and climbed the stairs in haste.
“We got to wait!” he hissed.  She pulled him and pointed at his shoes…!
“Forget it..!” he dragged her.  She pulled him back.  He removed his shoes in frustration and ran inside with her.  He closed the door tightly.
With one blow he blew off the Diya.  The darkness engulfed them.  They moved to the back of the idol.  He took out his cell and messaged Aman.  “She is safe!”

The hooligans were moving in the Mandir courtyard, vandalizing everything.  There was no one inside.  Someone broke open the inside door.  A muffled scream left Khushi as Arnav pressed his palm on her mouth and pinned her against the platform.  Couple of others joined the gang and they robbed the idol of all the ornaments…!

He had held her tightly.  He could feel her breath on his chest.  He couldn’t afford to release her even for a fraction of second.  The hooligans moved on.  Mandir wrapped silence around.  Arnav waited, then removing his hand from her mouth, hissed...  “Stay here!” he got up releasing her.  She struggled to get up.
“No! Wait!” he pushed her down on the floor.  He came around to have a look.  There was no one.  He dared not light a lamp.  He came back, holding her hand whispered.  “Come on, lets go!” she was pulled up.  He dragged her along…!

“Lamp….!” She tried pulling his hand.
“Shut up!” he hissed but came back and lit the lamp in front of Devi mayya.  She again closed her eyes, joined her hands and prayed..!
“Oh! Come on!” he was frustrated.  She turned angrily. 
“Thank her! She saved us!” she said.
“Oh! Shut up! She didn’t save you! I saved you!” he said with a glint.  She was shocked.
“What?.. How could you say…!” He dragged her clasping her palm, cutting her off.  He hurriedly wore his shoes and looked at her.  She was searching in the darkness.  

“Damn it!” he tried searching.
“Forget it!” he said in frustration.  “No! wait! I found one!” she was not ready to give up.
“Yeah! Got both!” she was victorious.   He sighed.  “We could have got killed! Damn it!” he yelled at her stupidity.
“We did not get killed.  We are saved!” she said angrily.
“Now lets go!” she ran keeping pace with him.  They came to their car and froze.  The windshield was smashed.  He swore under his breath.  Pulled out shards of glass.  Took out his keys and ignited the engine.  She sat next to him.  He raced away.  

“Take this… call home!” he thrust his cell in her hand.
“Hello jiji!” Khushi spoke. 
“ yeah…. I am fine Jiji.. Devi Mayya… !” she glanced at Arnav. “Sir is with me!”
“Khushi… don’t come home…! “ Buwaji screamed in the phone.  Khushi shuddered.  She looked lost.  ASR snatched the phone from her.
“Hello” he said in a deep voice.
“Aree Sir, please don’t send her home! Nandkishore! Its worst here.  Happy ji’s garage is completely burnt down.  These people are still out on the road…!” she was screaming incoherently.  Khushi took the phone from him again and listened hard.  Buwaji was so loud that Arnav could hear her clearly.
“Khusi… Don’t come… Stay at the office..!” she yelled.  Khushi looked at Arnav blankly.  He did not react but raced faster.
“Sir…!” she started off.   “Stop! Not a single word!” he said sternly.  He was driving on unknown roads..She dared not ask him anything.  It had started raining.  The broken windshield was giving her shivers.  


Anonymous said...

Hey khushifan, awesome awesome awesome that's it. I really liked it. Thank u so much.

Anonymous said...

Super super super

rainqrazy said...

Don't come home ... stay with ASR!! This is what we all want, except I wish they would stop arguing just for this night!!!

smisham said...

absolutely brilliant

snowballs said...

Brilliantly written so much going on best line for me " he was driving on unknown roads" double edged sword is that to escape the riots on area or turmoils of his feelings that are developing. Khushi ab to samaa ja dil ki darkano Mei.
Can't wait to see if they go to rescue Payal and buaji plus wondering to see where Shyam has buggerred off this time during violence is he consoling rani sahiba? While she sits waiting at home

Mymind said...

wow!.....turned it to a the way he lights the diya, removes his shoes before entering the temple even when it's something that he doesn't believe in .....he has fallen for her very badly though not realized.....what abt her?......she still has some way to go....

Anonymous said...

Awesome update..Arnav feelings well expressed..well Khushi s safe and nw stay with Arnav sir..waiting for ur next part


kalaiselvisblog said...

wow... amazing update dear... just loved d way how arnav searched for her & found her...

thank u devi mayya...

carmen bogdan said...

brilliant beauty. A particular scenario. Imagination is assaulted by your words and action tends to take place real in our minds.

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