She sat in the Café Coffee Day outlet, sipping her coffee and staring out of the window. Every now and then she peeked into her brown handbag.As she slowly put down her coffee, she saw two policemen entering the cafe. She carefully zipped her handbag before taking a final glance at the blood-stained knife inside it. She ignored them and went back to sipping the hot cuppa; as she was sure that this was going to be the last coffee at her favorite place.
‘I can afford only coffee for you girls, with my week’s pocket money’, said Meera with a low tone.
She looked as pretty as ever in her white Punjabi salwar suit and her sparkling deep brown eyes, with thin liners added jewels to her beauty.
‘It’s not fair yaar! You cannot escape every semester by just letting us sip coffee’, said Natasha who happened to be Meera’s classmate from Delhi Technical University.
‘Who would believe that the only daughter of The Singhanias’, the leading business tycoons of Delhi, gets only Rs 2000 as pocket money’, Natasha continued her everyday’s taunting.
‘ Stop it girls, enough of this everyday’, Meera’s best friend Payal stood up for her.
‘She topped because it’s her hard work that has paid off! Just because she doesn’t like to waste her parents’ money or doesn’t answer back doesn’t mean you get to poke her always’.
‘ Arre, Payal, tu kyu itna gussa karti hai?, we are just joking re’
‘Sorry Meera if that hurt you’
‘It’s ok girls, I can understand and Payal, why are you over-reacting? Aab aap jao, aur coffee le kar aao’, Meera said with a bright smile on her face ‘and don’t forget the extra cream in my caffé mocha’.
The bevy continued with their chit-chat. Meera looked at the busy road of Connaught place while sipping her CCD’s favorite coffee.
Soon after, she heard some noise coming from the entrance. The door opened, Meera looked more closely trying to find out where all the laughter was coming from.
As she looked on she saw a group of young college boys enter the room.
‘Bloody noisy dogs!’, Payal grumbled.
‘Stop it Payal, Kutto ke muhh nahi lagte’, Natasha popped in.
The group sat next to the girls’ table. They were still busy with their lame jokes and hardly took any notice of the girls.
The girls’ party was spoiled. They could not even talk with each other due to the noise that filled the entire room.
Payal continued to grumble and this time she was loud enough for the boys to hear, ‘I don’t understand why such dogs are allowed here!’
The group overheard this. They turned to take a look at the one who had passed the comment.
One of them got up from his seat and started moving towards the girls. He was wearing a black leather jacket with a black vest which perfectly fit over his well-toned abdomen. He looked more of a movie star than a college kid.
He quickly scanned each of the girls on the table; his eyes rushing from one to another and finally stopped at Meera.
That was the moment when Meera and Ishaan’s eyes met for the first time.
‘Hello behenjis!’, and with this Ishaan hit the table hard with his fist in a way to show his superiority.
‘We are sorry to disturb you but agar aap logo ko itna hi problem hai, then why don’t you girls just leave this place instead of sitting with dogs’.
That was harsh. Meera felt insulted and angry at his words. No one had ever talked with her in that manner before.
She stormed out of the cafe in a fit of rage.
It was the annual college fest ‘Engifest’ of DTU and Meera was the head organizer. There was some mess in the Street Dance area.
‘Meera Singhania, your presence is immediately required at ‘Switch The Funk Up’ reception’, Meera’s walky-talky beeped.
‘What happened Abhay?’, Meera came rushing.
‘These polytechnic guys, they want to take part in the ‘Switch The Funk Up’ competition but the Registrations are almost filled’
Ishaan came from behind.
‘Excuse me ma’am’.
Meera turned towards him.
‘Oh you, CCD walli?’.
‘Yes, any problem with that?’, Meera’s face turned red remembering the CCD’s insult. ‘Our entries are almost filled, besides what are you doing here? I thought a dog didn’t enter another dog’s territory’.
‘Oh, sorry for that day ma’am, I never meant to hurt you; it was just a joke’,Ishaan said scratching his head trying to create an impression that he didn’t exactly remember the CCD incident.
‘Joke?!!….Whatever!’. ‘By the way, I said na, that the entries are almost filled’ . And with this Meera turned and started moving.
‘Almost filled! …but not completely, right?’
‘Please ma’am don’t take the opportunity from the other members of my group for my silly mistake; they have practiced a lot. Please ma’am. I beg you’, and with this he almost fell to her feet.
With some further efforts and persuasion Ishaan finally succeeded in convincing Meera.
Ishaan’s team danced well, especially Ishaan was a specialist in locking and popping. Their hard work showed and was equally applauded by the onlookers. Even Meera seemed mesmerized by the troupe’s moves.They were placed the runners-up.
‘Thank you ma’am for giving us the chance’, Ishaan came back to thank Meera after the event.
‘It was all your hard work and please call me Meera’, Meera replied impressed by his dance moves.
‘Meera, this is Ishaan’
‘So, coffee at CCD tomorrow?’
Meera’s impression for Ishaan changed from that day onwards.
Meera and Ishaan kept in touch after Engifest. It began with exchanging text messages and calls…soon enough they had already become the best of friends. Meera was a silent girl, who never talked much but with Ishaan she spoke her heart out.
They used to meet quite often after class.
With Ishaan, she was not Meera Singhania rather she was simply Meera. That Meera who was lost in the high walls of her parents’ mansion was now free; free to eat street food, free to laugh, free to live.
‘Meera, how about a movie tomorrow?’, Ishaan asked Meera for a day out with him.
‘But classes? And besides what will I say to my parents? They would never let me go!’,Meera replied in astonishment and even the fear that she bore for her parents was clearly reflected in her eyes.
‘C’mon Meera it’s just for a day, you are a big girl now!’.
However,the news that Meera had skipped her classes had somehow reached her house.
Mr. Singhania despite being a rich businessman was quite conservative. He was a very devoted man;his family being his first priority.
Meera reached home at about 7 pm that day. Mr. & Mrs. Singhania were waiting for her in the drawing room.
‘Meera, why are you late?’, Mrs. Singhania asked Meera as she entered the house.
‘Extra classes’, with this Meera made her way to her room.
‘You could have informed us, we were worried’, Meera’s mother replied.
‘You don’t have to wait for me anymore mom’.
Mr. Singhania didn’t like this reply much.
‘Meera! How dare you talk to your mother like this?’. ‘Making new friends eh? Keep away from such friends who teach you to lie to your mother’, Meera’s father said.
‘Oh, c’mon dad, give me some space I am not your 6 years old daughter anymore, I can take my own decisions now’, with this Meera went inside her room.
This was not only the first day that Meera had lied to her parents but also answered back to her father.
Slowly Meera started falling for Ishaan and before Meera could even realize her feelings, Ishaan proposed her. It was on Valentine’s Day, that Ishaan brought a red rose for her and proposed to her on his knees. It seemed as if she was dreaming and it was then she realized that she had fallen head over heels in love with Ishaan.
Ishaan and Meera got closer with every passing moment and soon enough they got into an intimate relationship.Meera would often skip classes and would either catch a movie or go for a long drive. Their relationship was now a physical one. At first Meera hesitated to kiss Ishaan. Meera gave him the reason that she would kiss him only after their marriage. But with Ishaan’s constant persistence, she had to surrender.
The first kiss was one of the most beautiful experiences she had. It was during the weekend that Ishaan took Meera for a ride to Kailashghat in his new Royal Enfield. They were sitting on the bike and were watching the evening sun slowing setting in that dusky sky.
Ishaan slowly put his hand across her shoulders and pulled her towards him.
‘Ishaan!!, not again’.
‘Just keep quiet baby’, Ishaan replied in a low voice.
Their eyes met. Meera’s heart started pumping at a higher rate now. Ishaan slowly pulled her closer to him. She could feel his breath, she closed her eyes and let herself surrender to her love.
With time Meera even learnt to kiss like the heroine of Ishaan’s favorite movie, ’ 3 Metros Sobre El Cielo’’.
In the name of love she surrendered and accepted everything blindly.
Meera’s love life started affecting her academics. Her GPA was at an all time low, she even had no time to talk with her friends and all because of the fact that she was in so called True Love with Ishaan, so much that she overlooked the fact that Ishaan was an addict: a chain smoker and a complete drunkard.
Days passed, Meera was somehow able to graduate. But she could not qualify to study for her Masters in MIT, which had always been her dream.
‘Meera, you are a good girl, just be careful of what you are doing. You are talented but remeber that talent is just one of the many qualities you require for success in life. As in the case of a interview, marks is not the only factor to get selected; smartness, dedication, honesty and many such qualities play an important role in your selection. , it’s like you cannot make Biryani with just rice; though it is the main ingredient required’, was the last piece of advice given to her by her favorite professor while she was leaving.
Meera was admitted into a private college for her Masters.
Meanwhile Ishaan didn’t pursue his studies after graduation; instead he took to investing in the stock market.He also got involved in startups which didn’t work out; life for him had become a gamble.
Meera was in her final year when Ishaan proposed her for marriage.
‘But Ishaan, what about my studies?’, Meera asked.
‘Don’t worry Meera, I am there to take care of our family’, Ishaan assured her.
‘But Ishaan, I don’t want to leave my studies in midway, I want to complete it’
‘Marry me now or study forever!’, was the final statement from Ishaan.
‘Mom, I wanna marry Ishaan’, Meera let her decision out at dinner that night.
‘What? Who? Ishaan?’, Mrs. Singhania was taken by surprise.
‘Who Ishaan? What does he do? What about his family?’. Mr. Singhania questioned.
‘Ishaan Malik, we are seeing each other for years now, and I don’t know much about his family’
‘Malik??’, ‘Are you out of your mind, Ram Ram’ ,Meera’s mother was about to faint at her words.
‘Ishaan Malik! You guys have been seeing each other. And you don’t know anything about his family? And you want to marry him’.
‘ What about your studies?’, Mr. Singhania sighed.
‘I just love him that’s all I know and I can’t stay without him’.
‘No, I won’t allow that atleast not before Masters’, Mr. Singhania stood up.‘I am not against this marriage but I would want you to know something about Ishaan Malik!’
‘Ishaan Malik, that ba**ard came to my office the other day to apply for the post of a junior engineer. When he was rejected primarily on quality basis, he linked his name to yours’.‘He even tried to bribe the officials and on refusal he verbally abused them’.
‘He has definitely told you about this, hasn’t he?’
‘I don’t care dad, I just love him.’
Meera was not allowed to go out of her house after that day. Apart from college; she was not even allowed to meet her friends or use the cell-phone. Even when she was in college she had a body-guard appointed by her father as her constant companion.
She used to lock herself up in her room and cry all day.
Once she got a chance to use the landline when no one was around.
‘Ishaan, Meera here’, she started weeping over phone.
‘Just take me Ishaan, I love you and I can’t stay away from you’.
And then they decided to elope. During the class hours Meera would sneak out quickly, save herself from her body-guard’s constant vigilance and reach the college’s back gate. Ishaan would pick Meera from the back gate of her college after which they would go to Chandigarh and stay at Ishaan’s friend’s place; there they would marry in secrecy.
‘Once, we are married officially, neither your parents nor the society can separate us and at last your parents will have to accept this relationship, Meera’.
Everything happened as per Ishaan’s plan. They married but their lives after marriage became difficult for Mr.Singhania refused to accept their relationship and decided to disown Meera.Now Meera and Ishaan were left entirely on their own to look after their living.
Ishaan took her to his rented house with promises to have a better life shortly. The house was dingy and small. Ishaan used to share it with his friends but due to a fall out he had started living alone now. The interior was pale yellow with cracked walls and leaking ceilings. It had a small room at the entrance with a bed kept for the visitors to sit. A small wooden table rested in the middle of that room with a beautiful vase that Meera had presented to him. There were two additional bedrooms with a kitchen and a bathroom.
‘I bet even the maid at your house lives in a better condition’, Ishaan remarked on entering the house.
But these things didn’t matter to Meera anymore; after all she had got what she wanted, to be in the arms of Ishaan for the rest of her life.
‘At least this house is going to let us have our first night as man and wife!’ Meera chuckled with a wicked smile on her face.
Days passed and each passing day brought new difficulties. Ishaan’s behavior was changing due to his unstable career and frequent failures in the professional arena.
Ishaan even lose his Royal Enfield in a bet.
Once a new friend of Ishaan, whom he met at the Carlsberg club; informed him that a match between India and Ireland was fixed and that the latter was going to win the match. Ishaan, who was in need of money for startups thought this to be a golden opportunity and jumped at the offer without thinking twice. But things didn’t quite turn up as usual. His new friend actually duped him and so now Ishaan had to pay that bookey a sum of 1 lakh rupees which he did by selling off his bike.
Slowly, Ishaan cut himself off from most of his old friends; not because he was the only one devoid of a bike in the group, but because he lost trust in friendship and started losing trust in others.
He preferred to stay isolated and away from home most of the time. Even Meera was not aware of his whereabouts but still she had so much faith on Ishaan that she never asked him any question.
Years passed but Ishaan could not find a stable job. The fact that Ishaan didn’t have a stable job started taking a toll on their married life. Ishaan did not want a child. He was a total broke; with no job it got difficult for the couple to afford their living.
‘I wasted my life marrying you’, Ishaan told Meera one day when he returned home drunk late at night.
Meera who had fallen asleep while waiting for Ishaan at the dinner table woke up from her sleep at once.
‘Why what happened Ishaan?’, she came rushing to hug him.
‘No, don’t touch me, you don’t love me now’, with this Ishaan pushed Meera away from him.
‘Don’t say this Ishaan, I love you’, Meera said with tearful eyes.
‘Why not huh? Why won’t I?’, Ishaan replied.
‘Had you ever truly loved me you would not have let me slip into such a deplorable condition! Atleast you would have convinced your father to give you your share in his property and then I could have started a business atleast.’
‘I love you Ishaan, I love you’
Meera decided to return to her parents’ place and seek some help.
She couldn’t see Ishaan in such a condition, which was deteriorating with each passing day.
It was early in the morning and Ishaan was still in a deep sleep. She was afraid but when she turned to look at Ishaan’s tired face,she felt the pain which he was in; Meera mustered some courage.
After her morning household chores and preparing the breakfast for Ishaan, Meera got ready to visit her parents nearly after a decade.
She put on her favorite white saree with beautifully sequined red corner, which Ishaan had gifted her on their first wedding anniversary.
With hair tied up and with only vermilion on her forehead she looked like an Indian Goddess and rightly so like a determined Indian wife.
‘The Singhanias’, she looked at the large name plate displayed at her parents’ mansion. The walls stood as high as before but something was amiss. It had lost its shine, it seemed like everything had dried up.
She went inside. The new maid of the house asked her to wait at the door and went to call her master.
‘Meera, my baby’, Mr. Singhania came running after the maid informed him that a woman named Meera has come to meet them.
Tears started rolling down her cheeks.
‘Papa’, and she hugged her father. Mrs. Singhani wathched them from a distance :this emotional father daughter moment.
It seemed as if the father cried his heart out letting all his pain out which was buried deep in his heart. Mrs. Singhania had never seen her husband crying before and so she preferred not to disturb them.
‘Where have you been my girl, haven’t you ever thought of your old father?’, Meera’s father said weeping.
‘Your papa will make everything right now’.
Bounded by the love of their daughter both Ishaan and Meera were brought to the Singhanias’ Mansion.
Although Mr. Singhania didn’t have any good impression of Ishaan, still he was forced to make Ishaan the Managing Director of Singhania Steels Limited.
It seemed that the Singhanias had found their lost happiness with Meera’s return.
One morning, while the Singhania family was having breakfast in the garden, a black Mercedes pulled at the driveway. It was Mr. Shukla.
Mr. Shukla was Mr. Singhania’s childhood friend. He had been in the Supreme Court for years now; he was also their family lawyer and consultant to Mr. Singhania both in business and in life.
Mr. Shukla stepped out his black Mercedes in his black coat which he put every time he stepped out of his house, with a stick in his hand both to support his old age and grace. He was followed by a young man, who was dressed in plain white shirt and black trousers; he looked like Mr. Shulka’s assistant but with that fair face of a Hollywood movie star, in his black Gucci Shades, the diamond collection Rolex dazzling on his wrist and light brown Louis Vuitton shoes would get you thinking about your prediction yet again.
‘ Good Morning, Mr. Singhania’, Mr. Shukla called out from the driveway itself.
‘Morning, Morning, Mr. Shukla, good to see you after such a long time’, Mr. Singhania wished him back.
‘You are right on time, join us for Breakfast and you too young man’, Mr. Singhania requested the guests.
‘You look fine like never before Mr. Singhania, bhabiji is taking good care of you it seems’, Mr. Shukla remarked.
‘Choriye Shuklaji, bibi ka nahi, beti ka kamal hai’, Mr. Singhania smiled at his wife while she was pouring out tea into the bone china cups.
‘Ha ha, good to know that beti has returned home,eh? where is she by the way?’, Mr. Shukla nobbed.
‘And I guess this gentleman sitting here is your son-in-law?’, Mr. Shukla pointed to Ishaan who was sitting in the corner seat.
‘Haa, asa hi kuch’
‘By the way who is this young man with you?’, Mr. Singhania asked Shukla trying to divert the question.
‘Oh!, he’s my son Jai’, and then Mr. Shukla started blowing his own trumpet with all the world’s praises for his son.
‘He, has just completed his LLB from Oxford University’.
‘Dad its Jurisprudence in Oxford!!’, Jai corrected his father.
‘Aree choro beta, sab ekk hi toh hai’, Shukla said with an indifference to his son’s correction.
‘Aree! Isse lane keliye hi toh main England geya hua tha’.
‘Oh!, LLB, like father like son; but sach main yeh tera hi beta hai…?’, Singhania remarked.
‘Aree!, Mera aapna khun hai yaaar’
‘Paar dekh kar toh waisa nahi lagta!!’, and then they all burst out into laugher at this sarcasm.
Laughter and conversation were on during which Mrs. Singhania served tea to the guests, while the maids brought out the snacks and sweets.
Mrs. Singhania while taking her seat beside her husband whispered something into his ear which Ishaan, sitting in the corner heard distinctly.
‘Kash, he would have been our son-in-law; par hamare nashib main yei sab kaha’,
At first it appeared to Ishaan that Mrs. Singhania had deliberately said this to be heard by him. But then he thought to concentrate on his Laccha Parathas which appeared more appealing than his mother-in-law’s words.
After a while Meera came out of her house. She was still in her pink night grown as she had directly landed for breakfast from her bed.
‘Sorry everyone’, she said hurrying towards the breakfast table.
‘Shukla Chachu, and is that …. Jai???Ohhh my God!!!’, and with this she ran to hug Jai.
Meera and Jai had known each other since childhood, both the families thought that they would make a perfect couple but as things didn’t quite turn up as planned.
The hug was normal seeing their years of friendship. But the cozy hug that both of them shared sent Ishaan into an instant discomfort and anger.
‘And good morning Ishaan and Mummy, Papa’, Meera said after her hug.
After which she preferred to chit-chat with Jai. Meanwhile Ishaan was sitting in the corner feeling left out but he ignored that and enjoyed his morning tea instead.
‘So, Shukla what have you thought about Jai?’, Mr. Singhania asked Mr. Shukla.
‘What is Jai planning to do here?’
‘Matlaab??’, Mr. Shukla asked.
‘I mean it is just the right time for you to take a break and let the young man take over as your successor, aur waise bhi tu buddha ho raha hai!’, with this Mr. Singhania burst into laughter at his own joke once again.
Jai who was talking with Meera all this while, heard this. He then turned towards Mr. Singhania and said.
‘Excuse me Singhania uncle, with due respect to you and your company; I would like to give my opinion first….I don’t think I am eligible to work at such high position during the initial days of my career’.
‘Jai, mind your tone’, Mr. Shukla warned Jai.
‘Sorry, But papa, I am just saying that now I would like to stand on my own feet, chase life and my dreams instead of having an easy and an already established life because of you and I don’t think there’s anything wrong in that’.
‘Shut up Jai, have you forgotten how to talk with your elders?’, Mr. Shukla was furious.
‘Aree, Shuklaji its ok, the boy has a point, he is young and if the boy wants to do something on his own then let him do’
‘Kum se kum ushe muft ki roti todne ki toh aadat nahi hai, kuch logon ki tarah’, with this Mr. Singhania moved his eyes towards Ishaan.
Ishaan felt insulted but everyone including Meera giggled at this comment of Mr. Singhania.
As the days passed, slowly the childhood friendship,the old bond and warmth between Jai and Meera started reviving. Meera and Jai had no friends in the city and so their friendship grew stronger.
Ishaan was busy at his office all day as he had to work overtime and with the files piling up at his desk Ishaan’s frustration knew no bounds.
Ishaan was not able to give Meera any extra time and whenever she wanted to go out with him, his only statement would be,
‘Meera tum apne friends ke saath jao na, I got so much work baby’.
And slowly Meera stopped asking him out.
Meanwhile, she was getting well along with Jai by now. She loved the time spent with Jai. It seemed like she was relieved of all the stresses of her everyday life when she was with Jai. Jai’s charm and smart jokes brought her lost smile back. Jai even told her that had they met each other sooner she would have never fallen for Ishaan.
Jai would usually pick Meera up every evening, then they would go for a walk in the central park, and then to a shopping complex and finally would end up together for dinner at one of Meera’s favorite restaurants. Then Jai would drop Meera to her house before Ishaan returned from work.
Meera liked to narrate everything to her husband but his new job got him so busy that he could hardly spare time for Meera.
One day Ishaan saw Mr. Shukla and Jai entering Mr. Singhania’s office. He ignored them thinking it to be some sort of office work. But soon Mrs. Singhania also followed.
‘Something is fishy!’, Ishaan thought and he went near the window to get some insight into the conversation.
The voice was not distinct but he heard a few things. There was some discussion of maintaining the relationship: about making the family bonds stronger.
‘What relation with Jai are they talking about?’, Ishaan became suspicious.
He scratched his head and thought deeper.
‘Meera??!!!’, this thought left Ishaan in state of shock .
‘I hope this isn’t true’, thought Ishaan. Fear and doubt rose in Ishaan’s mind and in the same evening when it was announced in the office that Jai was going to be the Chief-Consultant of the Singhania Steels, Ishaan went into a tizzy. And suddenly all of Ishaan’s fears and doubts were turning into reality.
That evening Ishaan arrived early to talk with Meera and clear his doubt about the relation thing that was in crossing and hammering his mind all day long, though he knew she would never betray him.
But Meera was not yet home till then!
Ishaan tried to ring her up but her phone was switched off. It was irritating and frustrating at the same time. Ishaan started losing his mind and so he prefereed to sit at the bar instead.
It was at about 10’o clock that Meera returned home, Jai escorted her to the gate like always. But this time Ishaan who was watching this from his took the matter otherwise. He became furious for the person who had sent him into such doubts, fears and insecurities was with his wife all this while.
‘Meera, where have you been all this while?’, Ishaan questioned her as soon as she walked into the house.
‘Oh!!, Ishaan you came early tonight’, Meera was surprised to see him home as she never expected him to be there so early.
‘Didn’t you like it huh?!, Where were you and why was your phone switched off?’, Ishaan turned furious unable to get a proper reply in the first
‘Relax Jaanu!! I was at my friends place, Birthday party! And my phone… no charge!!’.
‘Oh ! Have never seen you attend late night parties before baby’
‘And which friend huh?, Jai!! with whom you go on a date everyday?’, Ishaan banged his Whisky glass on the floor.
Meera could not tolerate this behavior from Ishaan anymore which brutally thrashed her identity and questioned her character and relationship everyday.
‘Ishaan, don’t you dare to!! And are you out of your mind’
‘How can you say such things and you banged the glass on the floor huh!! Don’t you forget that this is not your dingy house’.
‘Firstly, how on earth could you expect me to go for parties when I was at your cheap little place, with no money? And next, never ever question me cause I had never done that to you’, with this Meera stood up and left the scene.
With Meera being back at The Singhania mansion yet again, Mr. Singhania was thinking for a perfect retirement.
And the first step to this was Mr. Singhania going on a short vacation with his wife to Manali by road. Although the idea of Manali came from Ishaan’s at the breakfast table but still Mr. Singhania liked it.
Ishaan thought it will be good one as now he could have some relief from his office work and would also improve his relationship with Meera. Meera was against this vacation, since her father’s health wouldn’t allow him to make a 15 hours trip and that too to Manali. But Mr. Singhania didn’t listen.
‘My willpower is still strong, and even a doctor will accompany us beta’, was Mr. Singhania’s explanation.
After weeks of struggle Mr. Singhania at last succeeded to convince his daughter for the trip.
It was raining that day when the elderly Singhania set off for Manali. Though Mrs. Singhania was never excited about such kind of trips still she had no option left but to follow her husband.
After the Mr.Singhania’s departure, Meera too thought of having some quality time with Ishaan as an attempt revive her marriage which had been on rocks of late.
Meera planned a dinner date with Ishaan at The Taj Mahal Hotel that night. She put on a delicate and stunning rose red grown, with backless sleeves which perfectly showed her beautiful curves. She tied her hair in a neat bun, with curls reaching out to her fair polished skin. Ishaan too put on a tux which Meera had presented to him, although Ishaan had put on weight and he no longer looked like the Delhi stud he once used to be; that night he looked quite a gentleman.
As the couple was rejuvenating their old memories, Meera got a call.
‘Not here atleast’, Ishaan complained as he sipped the first drink of red wine ’Zampa I’amour brut rose’ from his glass.
‘I have to take this call, its Jai’
And on hearing his name Ishaan felt even the wine all the more tasteless.
The phone call came as a shock on the other hand. Meera was informed that Mr. and Mrs. Singhania had met with an accident as their car got caught in an avalanche on their way back to Manali from Rohtang Pass.
The party was over. Everything was over for Meera, her eyes went red and in no time Meera started trembling….crying profusely at the loss.
This tragic incident totally broke Meera. An atmosphere of sadness and sorrow was meted down once again in Meera’s life.
Meera was shattered; not even a year had passed after she had reconciled with her parents…..and now they were gone forever!!
She weeped for the whole week. Even Ishaan’s efforts to console her was of no use. She neither slept nor ate properly. The next couple of month she spent grieving over her parents’ death.
And one such morning while walking in the garden she fell down.
‘I have a bad news for you’, the doctor at Fortis hospital informed Ishaan.
‘What? What are you saying? What happened to her?’ Say me Doc’, Ishaan was shocked.
‘The thing is that you need to take better care of your wife now, because…’, the doctor paused.
‘Because what doctor’, Ishaan panicked.
‘Because you are going to be a father!’.
This unexpected pregnancy swung the Singhanias’ mansion back into a fresh mood.
Although Ishaan now used to remain very busy as he had to prove his capability infront of the Board of Directors so as to take over as Mr.Singhania’s sucsessor; still there were visitors and relatives flooding in everyday.
Jai was Meera’s constant support during this time. Jai spent most of his free time at Singhania’s mansion.
But Ishaan didn’t like his constant visit at his place; still he was helpless for he himself was unable to give Meera the necessary attention and care. He only hoped to kick Jai out of his office once he took over.
The annual ball of The Singhanias’ was nearing. Ishaan decided to make this ball an extravagant one. He thought it to be a great opportunity to impress the Directors and at the same time bring back Meera’s smile.
Though Meera was still unable to get over her parents’ sudden death yet seeing Ishaan’s happiness she adjusted to the situation.
Ishaan threw a grand party and the news of the arrival of a new member was also celebrated with great pomp and show. Visitors came from all across the city to bless the new mother to be.
Mr. Shukla, the family lawyer of the Singhania’s came directly from the airport as he was abroad for the last couple of months.
Apologizing for his absence during the funeral, Mr. Shukla expressed his grief over the tragic incident.
‘Meera, your father was a great man, he loved you very much’
‘He used to come to my place and weep every night after you left the house’
‘He loved you so much that he transferred all the rights of his property to you’
Ishaan, who was standing there, overheard this.
And so now, it was clear. All the hard work to impress the Directors and everything was just in vain for Ishaan.
‘This is not your house’, this insult by Meera flashed in Ishaan’s mind for now it really seemed no more his.
Now, Meera would sit in her house and be the owner while he had to work all day to get paid from her.
He wasn’t getting a single penny from this property. He felt like an outsider. His ego was hurt, he felt like a maid at his wife’s place.
A maid, who could get sacked anytime. In his anger and fear the strangest thought came to his mind; the thought of Jai. He now even doubted the baby, doubted whether it was his or Jai’s.
‘The party was great Ishaan; you are going to be the best father’, Meera said as she sipped the orange juice that Ishaan had just offered her.
‘Don’t know about being the best father, but I am certainly going to be the best’, came a strange reply from Ishaan.
‘Your father didn’t appoint me at his office first and now he didn’t leave me a single penny’.
‘And now you two love birds are planning to throw me out of the house’.
And before Meera could make out what was going on she fell to the ground.
Ishaan had put about 10 sleeping pills in her glass. Ishaan wrapped Meera in the carpet and placed her in the back seat of his car.
Ishaan drove his car to the bank of Yamuna River. He then slowly removed the carpet, put the unconscious body in the front seat and pushed it into the river. He only hoped that the car would never be found and even if it did, it should come under the impression that it was an accident.
Ishaan’s quick plan worked. He got what he wanted. In all the jealousy and anger he overlooked the love and affection that Meera had for him. All his failure had taken a toll on him. His envy became his master, he was a slave to his jealousy; he lost his reasoning capacity to that extent that he even poisoned the person who loved him so dearly; and not even for a moment did he hesitate to kill his own baby.
Meera opened her eyes slowly, she tried to get up but she couldn’t move a muscle. Her body was shivering, it ached like a hundred fractures and she was even found it difficult to breath in that hot room.
She looked around to see where on earth she was; as the last moment she could recollect was being in Ishaan’s arms.
There was an old lady sitting beside her. She looked like she belonged to medieval India with her saree and sagging skin.
She saw Meera struggling to get up, she quickly , moved her hand towards Meera and pushed her slowly to lie back.
Meera was puzzled and afraid.
‘Ishaan,Ishaan!!’, she shouted loudly but all in vain.
Soon two men came in, hearing Meera’s scream. They were wearing only a untidy pale blue coloured cloth, which was wrapped around their lower body like saree.
Meera screamed even louder seeing those two strange dark complexioned figures. She was afraid.
‘Are they going to rape me?!’, a thought came to Meera and she again began calling out for Ishaan even louder.
‘Aree! Itna kio chilati ho, kaan dukh geyi hai haamare’, the old lady at last spoke out.
Meera then pointed out to those two men, giving the reason behind her fear.
‘Ho!, yehh do log hi tujhe yaha le kar aye hai, nahi toh tu dub kar maar chukti hoti!’.
After that she and both the two man explained to her about what happened and how they found her in the river while fishing near the Sahibi river in Rasgan village of Gurgaon district. Meera was lucky that the two fishermen had found her just a few minutes after being pushed into the river…else she would neve have been alive .The two fisherman carried unconscious her body to the village.
They informed her that she was in a very critical condition and they believed her to be dead. She was carried to a local hospital. It was there that she recovered and regained her senses.
‘Aurr’, the man who was narrating, stopped.
‘Aurr??, aurr kya’, Meera demanded an answer.
‘The baid informed us that you had a baby in your womb but he could not save it due to some internal injuries that you already suffered in the accident’.
On hearing these words, Meera went numb once again. Her child was no more; the symbol of her love with Ishaan was no more.
Tears came down rolling from her eyes.
Days passed and now Meera was in a deep trauma, although she remembered Ishaan she could not remember anything much about him or where he lived, her identity was being thrashed because of her staggering memory and so was her health. Meera stayed in that room and recovered. Weeks passed before she fully gained her senses back. She could stand upright now even though it was difficult for her to walk without a support.
She was under the impression that something bad had happened to her, though she could not remember exactly what.
She was haunted by dreams which had bashed her identity.
Ishaan still remained as the only person whose name she remembered vaguely. As she slowly remembered her days spent with Ishaan.
‘Ishaan’, she got up in a jolt after a nightmare one night. It was dark in that room. Her body was sweating, her lips had dried up. She was afraid.
‘Ishaan I have to go, I have to go now’, with this Meera somehow got up from her bed with a bamboo stick to support her.
She decided to leave the village without wasting any moment and get back to her love.
She moved out from her hut slowly and from the village limping, she moved into the darkness away from the village.
Within few hours she was in the urban streets, she couldn’t figure out where she was but she kept walking. And after about a waling few miles Meera was finally tired out of her body and mind. Her legs had given up on her. She didn’t have the strength left in her weak body to walk even a step further and so she decided to rest on a bench nearby.
The sun was shining high up in the sky. There was noise all around. Meera somehow opened her eyes to see the bright light.
There were people all around her. Everyone was waitng to get a glipmse of her.
She was frightened.
‘Aree, someone call the mental hospital or police, patta nahi kaha kaha se aah jate hai’
‘Aree, why do these dirty beggars sleep in our bus stands, baap ka raaj samajhte hai’, were the words she could hear from the crowd.
And literally so, anybody seeing her in this condition would by all means, assume her to be a crazy person, her hair was all messed up, she had not shampooed it for months now and her tattered clothes that the villagers had provided to her were smeared with blood that had oozed out from her wounded leg seemed to add fuel to the fire.
She was in Gurgaon. A place where once she came out for shopping in the high end malls . She was now called a beggar in that very place, where she once roamed about in the most expensive cars, dressed in the most beautiful dresses and went to the most expensive hotels.
But now she had to run or the police or even the mental health department would take her away.
She got up and without wasting any time ran away from the mob, limping with her wounded leg.
Meera’s life had drastically changed from a princess in her fathers’ home to a vagabond, an unknown beggar in brutal streets of Gurgaon.
She had nowhere to go or even have a meal, she would roam around the steets; begging was her only resort left. She would wander in streets during the day light to find someone who would take her to Ishaan or at least provide her with food and at night she took shelter in a nearby local hospital or temples which appeared to be much safer than the railway stations and footpaths.
Once while Meera was fetching water from the public hand pump in a temple, a group of pujaris stopped her. And within seconds a great crowd gathered around her.
Some were accusing her of polluting the water and still some informed about her frequent stay in the temple while some had other opinion.
‘She should be punished, she is trying to deteriorate our religion by her misdeeds’. Although she had done no wrong the people didn’t want such a dirty beggar to enter the temple or pollute the water by drinking it from the hand pump.
‘She should be handed over to the police’
Meera’s friend Payal who was working in ‘ Sashakt Nari Parishad’ in Gurgaon, happened to pass by that temple. She noticed the crowd and immediately stopped her car and at once came to rescue that woman.
Later on, during a conversation with Meera, Payal found out that the woman with whom she was talking to was actually her college friend Meera. Payal was taken aback seeing Meera’s pathetic condition.
Payal took Meera to her house.
Meera narrated all that she had gone through during those days.
Payal informed her that everyone assumed her dead in the accident and that her body was never recovered.
‘I don’t know what happened Payal, I could not remember anything, I just want to go back to Ishaan’, Meera said to Payal.
‘Ishaan??huh!’, Payal reacted.
‘Meera, you are still hoping for Ishaan to come to your rescue, even after months have passed by?’.
‘What are you saying Payal, I didn’t get you?’, Meera with a bit puzzled.
‘See Meera I don’t wanna say you this but…’
‘But what…? Payal’
‘I mean Meera… don’t you think Ishaan might be the reason behind all this?’, Payal said in a sense of conclusion.
‘What rubbish? Are you out of your mind Payal’, Meera protested.
‘Yes, I am but actually this is the truth!’
‘I mean who won’t do that? To become a billionaire overnight, even I would!’.
‘And do you know that, that Ishaan Malik who you are protecting even now is no more yours’
‘Ishaan has now taken over your dad’s property and that he even married the daughter of M. Shekh in secrecy, with a condition of having 50% share at his company even when according to the law he should have waited for atleast 7 years for you.’
‘Stop it Payal, just stop it’.
A sense of fear and doubt rose in her mind.
‘What if Payal is right?’, Meera thought to herself.
Meera was taken aback; all this time she was under the impression that she might have met with some kind of accident and that Ishaan would have gone crazy by now searching for her. She was hopeful that one day Ishaan would free her from all these miseries. He would come running to her and bury her in his arms like the hero of his favourite Spanish Movie, ‘ 3 Metros Sobre El Cielo’.
‘No, this can’t be true’, her conscience was speaking in doubt.
‘I don’t believe you Payal, Ishaan loved me and for God’s sake stop it!’
‘I know you didn’t like him from the very first moment you saw him doesn’t mean you could poison my mind against him’.
‘Accha thik hai, if you still believe that I am doing this for my hatred, tohhh theek hai’ , with this Payal got off her seat and went inside.
Payal came back after few minutes from her bedroom, carrying with her a pile of old newspapers.
‘You don’t trust your friend na, but see this’, with this Payal dropped down the newspapers one after another on the coffee table.
Meera took a closer view of the headlines .
‘ Tragic THREE – Accidents for The tycoons Singhanias?’.
‘ Ishaan Malik the new face of Singhania Limited’
‘ Marriage in secrecy or Business Deal between Singhania’s and Seikhs’.
Meera was astonished, things started falling into place. She could not read any more, she fell down on the floor.
All her hopes and dreams were shattered. Her love,her life had just crashed down.She began to weep.
Payal held Meera in her arms and consoled her.
‘How could he do that to me?’,Meera began weeping loudly.
‘ I loved him so much.I even left my studies, my home, my parents….all just for him. I gave my whole life for him and he?’
‘ That coward, that animal not only tried to kill me but he even killed our baby.’
‘All these month, all this pain was his gift’, she cried,’ I can never forgive you Ishaan, how could you do that to me’
‘ How could he do that Payal’, Meera cried grabbing Payal’s arm.
‘Don’t cry baby, don’t cry for that fu**er’, even Payal’s eyes were filled with tears.
The world had ended for her. Nothing was left for her now. Her own love had betrayed her.
She realized that sometimes it is not worth it to give all your dedication, attention and your life for a person who doesn’t value it.
The words of her college professor came back to her; she realized that love was not the only thing for a relationship to survive. Trust, sacrifice, understanding, devotion and many other things were missing in their years of relationship. They were never there. All these years she had simply covered their relationship by the veil of her immense love overlooking all the other qualities. She never got her love back. As she cried on she said to herself, ‘Ishaan doesn’t deserve to live. He must die’.
Ishaan was looking into the classic mirror of his bedroom trying to tie the knot of his red bow tie; it was Singhania’s annual ball now merged with the Shekhs. Suddenly he saw a reflection he expected never to see again.
‘Meera??!!How??where??? Oh my God!’
And before he could further utter anything the unexpected guest pulled out a knife from her handbag and in no time he had multiple stabs on his chest….he could barely scream with blood oozing out from all his wounds. He struggled to catch his breath…as his breath faded he saw Meera leave and this time it was only satisfaction that filled her eyes.