Beyond words

When eyes and souls connect

Chapter 6: Laying the foundation

on May 10, 2013

Akash stopped by the window of his room, thoughts of his Jijaji tripping and falling in his mind. Images of Di in love, Di getting engaged, the smile that lit up her face at Jijaji’s mention. The wedding. Jijaji bringing gifts for the family each time he came back from his trips. His gentle nature with Nani, the elder brother aura he adopted with Bhai and him. All that a sham? A facade?

AnjaliShyam

Then the niggling doubts came to the fore. Jijaji’s family. Did he have any? Anjali Di never mentioned anything about her in-laws. Jijaji was always traveling. Did lawyers travel so much? Teej at the temple. Jijaji was late. He came just as Khushi ji left. Was that a co-incidence? Wasn’t Khushi ji there at Raizada Mansion on Diwali day? Where was Jijaji? Images of a coughing Jijaji staying in bed all day came up. It made sense.

A numb ache started by the side of his head. Akash felt exhausted thinking of the task ahead. This was not going to be easy. Ibuprofen. He needed one before he could face Bhai. Slipping down the house in his padded slippers he made his way to the kitchen. It was dusk. The evening light came in slanting from the bay window by the pool. Bhai seemed to be staring at something on his laptop. It had to be now. Di was out on her numerous temple visits. Ma and Nani at their satsang. Thank Devi Maiyya for her small mercies.

Downing a couple of tablets, Akash made his way to the poolside.

“Bhai. I need to talk to you. This is important.”

Arnav looked up. It was not often Akash intruded on his time. If he did, it usually was important. Akash’s face was impassive. It did not bode well.

“Tell me Akash. Why don’t we go inside and sit and talk?”

The brothers went inside Arnav’s room. Akash turned and locked the room for good measure.

Arnav’s eyebrow went up in surprise. This was unlike Akash. He was liking this less and less.

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“Bhai. I was at Laxmi Nagar today to get the car from the mechanic there.”

Laxmi Nagar? Did this have something to do with Khushi? A fear rose unbidden in Arnav’s heart. Even before he could ask anything, Akash continued.

“I ran into Jija ji there.”

“Jija ji? Isn’t he out-of-town?”

Akash sat down, a resigned look on his face and made clean breast of what had happened that morning. Not a muscle moved on Arnav’s face. He looked ashen. His fingers curled up into a tight ball, a fury so powerful worked its way from his inner core threatening to swallow everything in its path.

The brothers faced each other. Silent. Ominous.

Finally Arnav broke the silence. Are you sure Akash? This is Jijaji we are talking about. And Di.

Di. Who was his surrogate mother. The one lone surviving family he had.

Akash who was silently observing Arnav replied in a monosyllable. Yes.

“I have had all day to think about this Bhai. I trust Payal ji. I think she is telling the truth. We need to do this carefully and make sure we have proof before we talk to Di about it. Jijaji needs to be in the dark.”

Arnav looked at his brother. His whole world seemed to have turned upside down in a day. First Khushi. Then Lavanya. Now Di. His Di.

Anger and rage bubbled under the surface but a tiny part of his brain piped up. He had to approach this like he did his business. Emotions aside.

He looked at Akash and nodded curtly. Thank you Akash. Let me think about it. Keep this to yourself now. Reach out to Payal and ask her to sit tight too. We need to do this carefully.

Akash felt like a heavy load was off his shoulders. He gave his bhai a quick hug and quickly walked out of the room.

Arnav changed into outside clothes and left Raizada Mansion for the evening. His life would not be the same again.

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One response to “Chapter 6: Laying the foundation

  1. loved that akash went to him and told him the truth loved that arnav is using his brain and not his anger awesome

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