“ASR Sir…!” Aman was in his cabin discussing about Khushi’s issue! ASR seemed to be deep in thoughts after listening to the story.
“There has to be someone behind this! Either the one who tried to run her over, or the person who knew that she would meet with an accident, or someone abated that accident, or…!” Aman blurted out the possibilities. ASR didn’t bother. His mind was racing for a solution.
“The lawyer settled the issue, it seems!” Aman said. “The real question is who complained?” Aman too was puzzled.
“Sir, she was hit, she was injured, she was the one who should have filed a complaint…!” ASR looked at Aman.
“Aman, ask her which police station!” ordered ASR. “She doesn’t know! She was in the office at that time..!” said Aman.
“Strange..!” ASR’s doubts darkened. “Ok! I will handle it!” he said and started descending.
“Khushi!” he was at her desk. She struggled to get up. He waited for her to settle.
“Ask your lawyer, about the police station..!” he ordered. She gaped at him.
“Ask him, Damn it!” he yelled. Entire office startled.
“I don’t have his number.. “ she said weakly.
“I had it in my cell… and you threw it away…!” she muttered furiously remembering it!
“Shut up! Call your home!” he looked at her pitying her for her brainlessness. She looked around and picked up the intercom. He looked at her hopelessly and pointed at the reception desk. Khushi hurriedly went and dialed the number. Payal gave her Sham’s number.
“Hello, Sham ji? My Sir wants to know, which police station?” she asked at once. ASR had followed her and was glaring at her angrily. She felt nervous.
“Khushi, ji.. Are you out of your mind? Why did you tell him about the police?” Sham was furious at the other end. She felt as if she was in furnace. She looked at the phone… ASR was waiting.. Sham was testing her patience.
“Sham ji, I want the name of the Police station..! Or talk to my Sir! ” she wanted a straight answer.
“No! Ok. Umm… Jal Bhavan police station..!” he gave the name reluctantly. She kept the phone and looked up at ASR. “Jal Bhavan..!” she said. He turned immediately dialing the number.
********* ********* **********
“Rattan Saab..!” Sham called the number in panic. He narrated the issue.
“Why did you have to fake a police case?” Rattan was clearly annoyed. Sham had no answer.
“Ok. I will manage..!” assured Rattan from the other side. Sham looked relieved.
“Khushi ji, you have made a big mistake. You don’t know, who are you dealing with..! Once I lay my hands on something… its mine!” he blurted clenching his fists. “You will be mine..you will help me to get what I deserve… !” his thoughts were wild and dangerous.
“Uncle ji… !” he had a smirk. “You are the real pain in the…!” he spat in anger.
********* ********* *********
Khushi came home late. She was already half sleep. Her Amma fed her. “What kind of work is this Khushi?” she asked in a worried tone. “Look at you! You look so pale..!” she stroked her head.
“Only for few days, amma! Then the duty hours will change.. then in another few days I will be relieved from the job..!” she said smiling broadly, but suddenly looked lost. The thought of leaving the office forever, made her sad. She had made some really good friends there.
“Forget it Amma! I am fine!” she said resting her head on Amma’s laps.
“Hummm!” Amma caressed her cheek. The clock struck 12 and Khushi looked at the Calander…! She got up and moved towards the room. Her Amma had tears in her eyes.
“Khushi… please..No!” She pleaded. Khushi jerked her hand looking away.
“Khushi…!” her babuji tried to stop her … Payal came out.
“Khushi… no!” she was crying.. Khushi didn’t listen to anyone.. She went in the room and closed the door bolting it from inside.
“I wish… this day is deleted from her life…!” Babuji said with tears in his eyes. Amma lost her heart. Payal came and dropped down beside her mother.
“NandKishore…!” Buwaji sat on the chair with her inhaler..!
********* *********** *********
“Where the hell is she?” ASR was waiting for Khushi. It was 10 in the morning and the driver walked it. It was her last day of her 12 hour duty.
“Sir, she didn’t come. Her sister said she is not at home!” the driver gave him the news. He looked at the empty cubical.
“Is she not well?” he asked the driver. “Don’t know sir!”
“Aman!” ASR yelled.
Aman came out of his cabin and climbed ASR’s cabin.
“Call Khushi’s home and ask, where she is!” he ordered. Aman dialed the landline. “No response..!” ASR’s anger started mounting. “Where the hell is she?” He sat on his chair looking down at the cubical.
“This girl, will definitely land me in trouble…!” he muttered angrily.
“Khushi Kumari Gupta, you will pay for this. I will teach you a lesson for taking French leave! This is not done!” he clenched his fists. Time passed and he grew restless.
“ASR! The office looks so peaceful..!” Lavanya was happy glancing at the empty cubical. She want him to realize it. He was not in a mood. He was angry! Khushi had not turned up even post lunch!
“ASR, about our upcoming conference, I had asked that girl to prepare our itinerary… !” she started off complaining.
“Shut up Lavanya! I am busy!” he yelled. She looked at him.
“ASR! Did you have your lunch!” she held his hand sitting on the armrest of his chair.
“Oh! Stop this, Lavanya!” he jerked her hand. She looked at hm intently.
“You are upset!” she declared.