learning to draw.. This one is for you. Hope you like it 😁
It was the end and also the beginning of an era. The transition time between this, was heartbreaking and depressive but can we lead our lives thinking all day long what and who has gone away. What is gone is gone!
Rosalba today at the age of 19 was recalling the life she had left behind. She was searching for evidence. Her inquisitive mind had thousands of questions still which kept her awake the whole night. Here Isabelle was excited and happy to meet with Twinkle after twenty long years. Both friends had so much to share and talk about. Their giggling and constant chit-chat could be heard all night. Soon the sun rose to bring a new day. Rosalba who had not slept the whole night was feeling sleepy now. Here the guests from NewYork had started arriving. Bob was the first to have arrived. The house was full of the hustle bustle of people. It seemed the party had already begun. Isabelle knocked the door of Rosalba’s room and entered singing happy birthday with all the family members including Twinkle and her kids.
Rosalba woke up and thanked everyone. Isabelle asked Rosalba to freshen up and come down to the living room as she wanted her to meet all her friends who had arrived. Rosalba was still half asleep. She nodded in affirmation and dozed off to sleep one more time.
Isabelle tried to wake her up, but her mother asked her to let it be. Rosalba’s Granny said: Maybe in the excitement of her big day she has not slept in the night. Let her sleep for some more time. With this, they went away closing the door behind.
Rosalba was soon in her dreamland. She saw that she was roaming around with Robby in a beautiful park, hand in hand. She heard someone calling Robby. She thought that his name was being called in her dream but in reality, Robby had arrived in her home! Robby knew Isabelle and was friends with her for long. He was also meeting Isabelle after a very long time and was super excited to meet her kids.
All the guests were mingling with each other. Robby’s personality and mannerism were leaving a mark on everyone, especially on all the woman. He was surrounded by all. Everyone wanted his attention. He was being adored by everyone for being such a great personality.
Rosalba woke up when she heard Robby’s name again and again. She came out of her room in her nightdress only. Walking into the drawing room she was shell-shocked to see Robby standing before her. Her dream was true. Robby did exist!
Here Robby was sitting in the drawing room flirting and laughing around with everyone. His attention diverted when he saw Rosalba standing there and looking at him with her mouth wide open. Their eyes met. It seemed as if they were both hypnotized and could not take their eyes off each other. Suddenly Rosalba took charge of her feelings and fled away to her room. Once in her room, she felt the butterflies in her stomach. She didn’t know how to react to this situation.
Rosalba quickly went into the bathroom to freshen up. She dressed up in one of her favorite dress and came down to meet everyone. Isabelle introduced Rosalba and Ian to Robby.
Robby told Isabelle that she indeed had a very beautiful daughter. He just could not take his eyes off her. He picked up a packet and presented that to Rosalba, telling her that it was her birthday gift. It was a painting. Rosalba asked Robby if she could open the gift now only instead of waiting for the evening. Robby was more than happy and said: Why not, please go ahead.
Rosalba opened the gift. The painting she had before her eyes had captured various stages of Rosalba life. She saw herself as a kid, as a teenager and now the beautiful woman she was in the painting. She gave a confused look to Robby. Robby smiled and said he had created this painting with the pictures her mother used to send him.
Thank you, it is so lovely she said with a smile So, what do you do Robby, asked Rosalba.
Robby said: I am an artist. I draw life. Isabelle added that Robby’s father owns a business in Canada but Robby has chosen to stay in NewYork and pursue his hobby. She also added that Robby was making good money out of it.
Yes of course: said, Robby. He added, sometimes your hobby becomes the reason for you to live. Do what you like and you will be at peace always.
Rosalba knew how he had this inspiration and was smiling. Robby felt confused with her behavior. The way in which Rosalba was looking at him, her smiling, her reaction to what he was saying was a bit weird, but he ignored it thinking that maybe that was the way this generation was. He already had crossed this stage.
Isabella took Rosalba to meet the other guests. It looked like the party had already, begun. Robby was directed to the guest house to take some rest. Unknowingly, Rosalba’s eyes were following him wherever he was going.
Here Ian was busy flirting with Twinkle’s daughter who was seven years elder to her. Everyone was busy in their own sweet world. Twinkle was looking at Rosalba and wondering why she felt connected to her. Suddenly, their eyes met and Rosalba came towards her. She said: I hope you remember that today you have to wear a saree. Twinkle stopped smiling and she said: my dear child, I am not carrying any. Also, I used to wear it when I was young now it would look weird. Twinkle tried to make an excuse.
Rosalba looked at her and said: Anyways, I have to go to the market. Will you please accompany me?
Sure said Twinkle. Rosalba rushed in to get her purse and inform her mother that she was going out with Twinkle to the market. Isabelle smiled and told her to go and enjoy shopping.
While traveling, Rosalba looked out of the window and said I can feel the fresh air, can you Twinkle.
Twinkle replied: Of course, I can feel the fresh air too. The weather is beautiful.
Rosalba continued saying: The way every morning we feel the freshness of the air and admire the beauty of nature, why can’t we do the same to ourselves.
Twinkle: What do you mean by this?
Rosalba: I mean, every day is a fresh day. Why do we stop enjoying our lives because of our dark past? Why can’t we look ourselves into the mirror and admire our beauty?
Twinkle could not understand what Rosalba was saying. She just smiled and started looking out of the window. Rosalba took Twinkle to an Indian store and asked the salesman to show them some good sarees. Twinkle was a bit irritated now and she said: Rosa my child, I am sorry. I don’t want to wear any saree.
Rosalba: What if we both wear a saree today. Let’s wear the same color too. What about wearing your favorite yellow color.
Twinkle was taken aback and asked in a surprised tone: how do you know that I used to like yellow color.
Rosalba smiled and said in a mischievous tone: I know plenty of things that you do . Let’s not get into it. She asked the salesman to show her the best party wear saree in Yellow color. Unfortunately, the color was not available. Rosalba then asked for a black colored saree. Rosalba chose two one for Twinkle and one for herself.
Twinkle kept quiet seeing Rosalba being so adamant about wearing a saree. Once in the car, Rosalba saw that Twinkle was sad and felt that she may cry any moment.
Rosalba touched her shoulder and said: Twinkle what is the matter. Why are you so quiet.
On hearing this Twinkle’s started crying inconsolably. Rosalba embraced Twinkle in her arms and let her cry her heart out.
Twinkle stopped crying after few minutes. Sobbing she said: you are just like my Didi, I mean my elder sister. She would also let me cry the way you did. She too would have chosen black color if yellow was not available.
Rosalba in her heart knew the truth but had no option. She had to keep quiet. She let Twinkle speak.
From market to back home, now Twinkle was continuously speaking about her sister, her husband, and her kids. It seemed that she had stopped sharing her thoughts with anyone after her sister had passed away and today suddenly she had found someone in whom she could see her sister and she was telling her all. Rosalba let her vent her heart out. Twinkle did not even realize that they had reached home. When she saw them entering the gate of the home she said: Oh! I am sorry. I didn’t realize that we have reached. I have been speaking for so long. Come let’s go Ruchi. I mean Rosa. I am so sorry I didn’t realize I called you by my sister’s name.
Rosalba: Its okay, It happens when you miss someone for that long. She held her hand and continued saying: Twinkle, God is not that cruel. If he finishes your relation with someone on this earth and if the soul wants they find their way back to you with a different relation. Before those relations take birth, God makes sure that you meet someone who can take care of you. Maybe, God made sure that you meet my mother and who knows if Ruchika chose your best friend to be her mother to come back to you. Ruchika was elder to you then and maybe today Ruchika with her next birth is younger to you, she said with a smile. Twinkle smiled back at her and they entered their home.
Rosalba had given Twinkle a thought to ponder on. Twinkle kept on thinking about her family. The way she missed her sister, she missed her mother too and often she used to tell her son that you are not my mother, I am your mother. All of sudden, her mind made her see so many similarities between her son and her mother. She was forced to think, that maybe Rosa was right. Maybe, her mother only has come back to her as her son. This thought made her heart happy and she smiled one more time.
Rosalba ate her lunch and went towards the guest room. She wanted to meet Robby. She was thinking hard what reason she would give to Robby if he asked her why she had come to his room. She was peeping inside from a window when she saw Robby standing in front of the mirror and massaging his arms. Robby saw Rosalba reflection in the mirror but acted as if he was not aware of her presence. He put on his shirt and came out. Rosalba rushed towards the bushes to hide.
Robby knew that he was being followed by her but could not find a reason behind it. He walked towards the market close by. He roamed around the market aimlessly fully knowing that Rosalba was still following him. He got tired of this game in some time and thought of encountering Rosalba.
Rosalba, my child, why are you following me: he said
Rosalba was irritated with the word Child and said: Please I am not your child Rob!!
He laughed and said: Your mother and I are almost of the same age. Do you know I am 46years old and you are just turning 20, my dear child?
That was when unknowingly the words slipped from Rosalba’s mouth.
Rosalba: Rob, Since when have you started calculating age. Remember, it is just a number we humans count to see our remaining days on the earth.
Robby was taken aback. Vision’s of Ruchika was flashing in front of him. He recalled that he had spoken these lines when Ruchika had asked his age.
He stood there quietly for a while and then asked Rosalba to go back home.
Rosalba knew that she has made him recall Ruchika. She still didn’t know how she would convince him that she only was his Ruchika. She left from there.
Robby was called back in the lanes of memories but he gathered himself and went in to enjoy the birthday party.
It was 8 pm when the guests started arriving. Rosalba draped Twinkle’s saree just like Ruchika used to do. When Twinkle looked herself into the mirror she saw the reflection of her sister in Rosalba. She hugged her and tears started flowing.
Rosalba said: You have cried a lot, its time to be happy.
Twinkle said: Thank you. She took out her sister’s photograph from her bag and kissed her.
Rosalba saw what Twinkle was doing and hugged her back. She kissed her forehead exactly the way Ruchika used to do.
Twinkle felt in her heart that maybe Ruchika was back in the form of Rosalba!
The only person who has to understand that Rosalba is Ruchika was Robby now.
The party started and everyone was admiring Twinkle and Rosalba. Some commented that they looked like sisters. Isabelle too was surprised because she had bought a special birthday dress for Rosalba and she had not worn that. Instead, she had worn this saree. But she was happy after all it was Rosalba’s day. The huge cake was cut in a while. Rosalba was given lots and lots of gifts.
Robby was looking at Rosalba but the moment Rosalba would look at him he would show as if he was very busy with his cell phone.
After some time, Rosalba gathered courage and went near Robby. She looked into his eyes and asked: So what did you name your art studio. Before Robby could answer, Isabelle intervened and said: oh you don’t know! He has given some Indie name to his studio.
Rosalba instantly said: is it Ruchika! Robby was shocked again and he said: yes it is Roochi which means interest.
She went close to him and looked deep into his eyes. She was about to say something when Robby and Isabelle together asked her: But how do you know?
Rosalba ignored the question and requested Robby to stay with them for another 10 days. She explained to him that she had to give her art exam and she felt that he could help her with that.
Isabelle also insisted with Robby to stay back but he was not ready for it. Rosalba requested Robby to see some of her sketches and give her some advice on how to improve more. While they were talking someone pushed Rosalba by mistake and her drink spilled on her clothes and as well as on Robby’s.
Rosalba apologized and took Robby to her room where he could use the washroom. They both went upstairs. While Robby was using the washroom Rosalba chose to take off her saree and dress in the dress her mother had bought for her. While taking off her saree she looked in the mirror. Suddenly she started seeing flashes of Ruchika taking off her clothes and admiring her self. Rosalba started doing the same. In the meantime, Robby came out of the bathroom and he got a shock of his life when he saw Rosalba doing exactly like Ruchika. He chose to rush out of the room but Rosalba stopped him in between and started kissing him passionately. She said your Indian princess is now your French girl. She knows how to kiss. Rosalba was smiling but Robby was scared out of his wits. He pushed her away and tried to go. Rosalba stood in front of the door and pleaded with Robby to stay and at least listen to her. She continued saying: I am your Ruchika, Robby. Your entice with her was not a dream. I have taken birth again and have this body now. You had told me that even if you would die, your soul would not stop loving me. Then how can you not recognize me, Robby? She rushed to the bed and brought her sketchbook. She showed him his pictures. She said: I have been drawing your sketch even when I was not aware that I was Ruchika’s soul. Why don’t you recall the moments that we have lived? Remember how we went from one truck to another to visit Robbinson. How you embraced my insecurity of being elder to you with your love. Remember, this is the way I was admiring my body when we made love for the first time.
Robby was shaking his head and asking her to stop. He pushed her away and rushed to join the party. He was trying to act as if all was normal. That was when Rosalba asked D.J to play the twilight song.
The song started:
Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall
But watching you stand alone
All of my doubt, suddenly goes away somehow
One step closer
Rosalba was singing along, with tears in her eyes. Isabelle and every person in the party noticed that Robby was shivering now. She held his hand and sang along: I have died every day, waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years
Robby pushed her back and moved out of the party in the confused state.
Rosalba sat there and started crying. Isabelle felt embarrassed in front of all the guests. She questioned Rosalba about her behavior. What is happening she asked in a confused tone. That was when Robby came back and started singing: I ‘ll love you for a thousand more. Everyone in the party was shocked.
Rosalba ran into his arms and they kissed.
Isabelle was burning in anger but her mother held her hand and stopped her. Isabelle said: But, Mother, can’t you see he is so much older to her. Her mother smiled and said: When you were of her age you too didn’t understand that the man you were marrying was a con man. He was the head of the drug mafia. That was your time and this is hers. At least she has chosen an artist. Let her live her life.
Isabelle kept quiet. Suddenly Ian asked for everyone’s attention. He introduced Twinkle’s daughter to Isabelle officially in the party as her life partner. Isabelle shook her head and said do you even know that she is elder to you and you Rosalba do you even know that he is elder to you. She was so confused that she sat on the floor and Rosalba and Robby said together: Age is just a number. With this, they walked out of the party in the moonlight and Rosalba asked Robby: do you know the meaning of my name
Robby said no. It means white rose, and white rose is special when it is unknowingly gifted to the one you loved. It confirms your past life connect. My mother might have intuitively known that I was born as a gift to her for you.
With this they had a long passionate kiss. And life seemed to have a mission. Mission to live in peace and happiness. The unwanted pain with no medical reasons vanished. Life is good when you force yourself to see the brighter side. isn’t it?
Can you hear me Rosalba? Are you with us.
The magical tune of the flute turned into beep which was connected to the ventilator. She opened her eyes to doctors and nurses working to revive her back to life. She saw Isabelle standing along with the doctors, holding her hand and saying: Rosalba, Mummy loves you. There was a young man standing along her saying: What will I do without you Rosalba. I love you. Please listen to me. Come back, come back, please.
He shook her from her shoulders and that was when Rosalba took a long deep breath and came back to life.
She was confused. She looked around to understand where she was. Who all were these people around her. The doctor asked her: how are you feeling now Rosalba? She did not answer, she was numb. She closed her eyes again. With her closed eyes, she was desperately trying to figure out what was happening to her. She eventually realized that she was witnessing her past life while she was on the ventilator. Coming back to this birth, she was born as Rosalba to Isabelle and the young man who stood there thinking that she was dead was her older brother Ian. She recognized him. He was her past life father.
She smiled looking at them and closed her eyes again.
Isabelle thanked the doctors for reviving her daughter back to life. Isabelle was staying in Switzerland now and also was a single mother. Her husband was a useless man and was not at all interested in taking care of the kids. Isabelle had raised both the kids on her own.
Isabella was sitting outside the hospital room when Ian asked, will we continue staying in this city mom.
She was thinking about this only. She was worried about the future of her kids. Since some time the drug mafia in this city was on the increase. Each day the news was full of innocent girls being picked up by this mafia and then being thrown into drugs and human trafficking.
Last week Rosalba was coming back from her college when two guys had picked her up. They injected her with a heavy dosage of the drug. Thankfully Ian’s friend saw Rosalba being picked up by some boys and informed Ian instantly. Ian informed the police and they rushed to the spot and saved her in time.
By the time Ian reached, Rosalba’s body had already reacted to the strong drugs. The police rushed her to the nearby hospital. Thankfully the doctors were able to revive her back to life but Rosalba slipped into a comma. The dedicated doctors did not lose hope and Rosalba came out of her coma state in two days.
Sitting outside, Isabelle was crying hard. Ian stood there holding her hand. She said: It has been twenty years since we left your father and shifted here to Switzerland. Your father had ganged up with the drug mafia. I was worried about both of you, so I came here and hid from him. Now, this drug mafia is here also. I am scared and I don’t understand what should I do. She saw a fearful look on Ian’s face. She immediately wiped off her tears and said with a smile: Never mind. We will think about shifting from here too and go to a safer place.
The nurse came out of the room and told them that Rosalba has gained consciousness and wanted to meet them.
Isabelle and Ian rushed inside her room. The family hugged each other and tears of love were flowing from their eyes. Rosalba saw her worried family. She decided in her heart that she would take time to share her experience with her mother and brother. She thought to herself that to prove her story she should first try to get some solid evidence.
The family was sad and worried too. Isabelle had been thinking where she could go with her kids. She thought of her father and then asked her kids whether they would want to shift to their grandparents in France.
Ian jumped at the option and agreed immediately. He said excitedly: yes, of course, that would be fun. But Rosalba said: Mother how can I go.This is my last year of my term in college. If we leave now I will not be able to complete my Graduation in Arts. You know that I am earning my stipend with drawing portfolios for a company. They have already paid me in advance. I cannot leave that work in between. My reputation would be at stake. More off, if I don’t get my degree then how will I be able to make a name for myself in the fashion world and join grandmothers business.
Isabelle said: okay as you say. Give me some time to think of something else. She went out and asked the doctor if she could take Rosalba home. The doctor refused. He told her that Rosalba was still under observation for next 24hours. She went back in the room and told this to Rosalba.
Rosabla smiled and said: Its okay Mom. You and Ian go home and rest for a while now. She further said: Mom can you please get me my sketchbook and also a pencil. Isabella smiled and Ian chipped in: I will get it for you. He told Isabelle: Mom, you stay here with her. After Ian was gone Rosabla held her mother’s hand and said: I am okay Mom. Why do you worry so much?
Isabella said: I worry because I am afraid to lose both of you. Especially you. You are my precious little girl.
Rosabla took a deep breath and said: The way I am precious to you, you are also precious to granny. Why don’t you forgive her?
Isabelle softly took her hand away and said: You are too young, to understand all this. When I was of your age she was so busy in her business that she was not even aware that I had left home and settled in NewYork. Your granny only came to know about this after, many months from your grandfather. She did not even care then. She lives only for pure business. She does not believe in any relations.
Rosalba was surprised. She asked her mom, you went to New York! But you never told us this. She at the back of her mind was connecting it with her dream she had. Well, this was a proof that what she had seen was real and not a dream.
Isabella said: Yes, that is a long story.
Rosalba was curious now. Mother, please I want to know. What were you doing in NewYork?
That was when Ian walked in with her sketchbook and pencils.
The conversation was left in between. Isabelle was relieved. She, as it is, was not interested in telling all that to her daughter.
Rosalba immediately got busy with her sketchbook. She saw that in past, number of times she had drawn the same face of a man she had never known.
But today she recognized this man as Robby. This was the second proof of what she had seen. She was full of many questions now but had no answer.
That was when the doctor came in to check Rosalba. He requested her mother and brother to step out for a while.
Rosalba was murmuring and trying to understand that if Ian is my past life father then Ruchika passed away before him. How can Ian be my past life father?
The doctor who was there checking her medical chart said: sometimes souls do not choose to take birth instantly and sometimes it is a quick decision that they make. The road to salvation is not easy Ruchika, Hare Krishna! She looked at the doctor and she saw Krishna again. She tried to stop him but he was gone. Isabelle and Ian came inside the room asking her if she was okay.
Yes, mom, I am okay said Rosalba.
Rosalba understood that some major change was about to happen in her life.
Next day, Ian and Isabelle decided to take her to France directly from the hospital. After talking to doctors and signing some papers, Rosalba was allowed to go. They all were on their way to the airport when Rosalba questioned them, where are we going. This is not the route to our home.
Meanwhile, the taxi stopped at the airport.
Airport! Mom, where are we going she asked in a confused tone.
Isabella said: Nothing honey, I just planned a change for all of us. Don’t worry about your exam, Ian has spoken to your principal. You can give exam in the France branch of the college.
Rosalba said: But mom, my exams are in the next 10 days? I also need to prepare.
Isabelle was busy loading the bags in the trolly. That was when Ian stepped in and said I will help you with it sister. I have got a job offer in France. Will you leave me alone?
Rosalba understood that it was an emotional blackmail but she had no choice, but to agree. They took the flight from Geneva to Paris.
All through the flight, Rosalba was drawing sketches of Lord Krishna and Ruchika.
They landed in two hours time. Her granny and grandpa were at the airport to welcome their grandchildren. Isabelle met her father but not her mother. Rosalba saw that but kept quiet. She could see that her granny was full of remorse. But Isabelle did not even look at her and moved towards the car.
They reached home and Rosalba being favorite of her granny tried spending maximum time with her showing her sketches and the latest design she thought the
fashion world would love.
They both sat and discussed Rosalba designs all day long which irritated Isabelle to the hilt. She came to Rosalba and said: Don’t spend too much time with people who only know the language of business and not love. This was a direct taunt to Rosalba’s granny and she understood too. Rosalba hugged her granny, kissed her and said: Don’t worry all will be well one day. We will sit tomorrow to see the designs, and went outside to sit with others.
Rosalba’s grandfather said: I have organized a small party for all of you tomorrow evening. I would like you to meet my friends. Isabelle was excited. She told Ian and Rosalba that some of her friends too would be joining them. She said they would be flying from NewYork and coming here especially to meet Rosalba.
Rosalba said in a surprised tone: But why me Mom. I don’t even know those people who you are talking about.
Ian said: my dear they are all coming especially for you. He added, sweetheart, have you forgotten it’s your birthday tomorrow. Rosalba said: Oh, I almost forgot about it.
Isabelle was sad and said in an irritated tone: Yes why not. Now since you are in my mother’s company, happiness does not matter to you. After all one is known by his company only!
Rosalba was irritated with her mother’s behavior now. She saw tears in her Granny’s eyes and felt very bad for her.
Everyone in the room kept quiet. The room had pin drop silence. Isabelle excused herself saying that she needed to see if the food was ready. She went into the kitchen and Rosalba followed her.
Isabelle was crying. Rosalba hugged her from behind and turned her to face her. She said: look, mom, I know you are angry with me. I am sorry. I just came back from the hospital and in between so many things have happened. Instant changing of place and all. I just could not remember my birthday. It’s not at all granny’s fault. She is old now. Let her be!
I know my child, I am not angry with you said Isabelle wiping her tears off.
Rosalba said: Then please stop being angry with yourself too mom. You are torturing yourself with this taunts. You are granny’s shadow.
Isabelle became angry with these words. She asked Rosalba to shut up.
No, you have to listen, Mom. Enough is enough. If granny did wrong to you by not giving her time when you were young, you are doing the same thing now. She is old and she needs you now.
Everybody including Rosalba granny could hear Rosalba screaming but no one intervened.
Isabelle screamed back at Rosalba saying: when did you grow up so big that you have started reprimanding your own mother Rosalba!
Rosalba had tears in her eyes and she held her mother’s hand and said I am sorry mom but what if Granny asks you this same question. Please forgive her. She is old, she is tired and she needs you.
Isabelle hugged her daughter for a minute and then went away leaving her in the kitchen.
Soon the dinner was served. That was when Isabelle’s mother took a bite of pasta on the fork and gave it to Isabelle’s to eat.
Isabelle was looking at her with tears in her eyes.
The old woman said: This is how it should have been years back Isabelle. Please forgive me and give me one more chance to prove that I love you. The time you thought I was giving to business, was the time I was trying to safeguard your future. You left the house and we both let you live the life the way you wanted since you were young but I was only trying to secure a happy life for you. Please forgive me.
By now, Ian and Isabelle’s father too was in tears. Isabelle’s father added it was our decision that you would stay with Bob to come out of your loneliness and depression. Without telling you, your mother only made all the arrangements for you to stay there.
That was when Isabelle cried out loud and she kept on crying for long. She then hugged her mother and apologized for her behavior.
Rosalba recalled her dream and said to herself that means the Bob story was also true.
In all this happiness around, Rosalba was not aware of the storm that was coming her way. The doorbell rang, The maid of the house came in with Twinkle and her family. Isabelle hugged Twinkle and introduced her to the family.
Rosalba had tears in her eyes when she hugged Twinkle and everyone was surprised by her behavior. The first thing she said to Twinkle was, tomorrow is my birthday and I want you to wear a saree. I will drape your saree for you.
Isabelle was surprised and asked how will you know how to drape a saree. That is an Indian attire. While they all were talking Ian also got up and hugged Twinkle. He too felt a connection with her.
Isabelle looked at Twinkle’s son and said: he looks exactly like you. Rosalba recalled her conversation when her mother had said: I will take birth as a boy and I would look exactly like my mother. Ian and Twinkle’s son instantly became friends.
Twinkle said I feel like I am a part of your family and everyone knows me. That was when Rosalba’s granny said indeed you are our family, young woman. Come let’s have some dinner together.
Everyone was enjoying dinner. It seemed the party had already begun. Here, Ian felt attracted towards Twinkle’s daughter.
Rosalba in her heart thanked God for bringing them all together one more time. She was happy and sad too because no one except her knew the relations of the past life.
Krishna tells Ruchika, that he creates an illusion in each and every person’s life to make them learn lessons from each birth and then to attain Salvation.
He said: I had to make your soul live like a human on earth, to help you complete the vivacious circle of life and death.
Julie did meet you after your death, but you never realized that it was Julie’s soul you were meeting and not Julie as a human in human form.
Meera had found her unconscious in the hotel room and rushed her to the same hospital where your body was lying. She called your father and sister for help. Once in the hospital, I planned for your soul to meet her’s when she was unconscious.
But how did she come to the hospital, I mean why? Krishna said: Now that was me. I made her dream that Meera was calling her early morning to let her know that you have come back to life whereas I was playing with her thoughts to get your soul meet hers.
Ruchika had tears in her eyes. She was not ready to believe what all Krishna was showing her. Poor Ruchika had umpteen of questions. With tears in her eyes she asked again: My father, he was telling everyone that I was back. I saw many people visiting us and many were looking at me while they were talking.
Krishna said true, many people came to your house to console him and to meet Twinkle who was back in India for your funeral. They were looking at Twinkle who was standing behind you.
What about my visit to Julie in the hotel room, asked Ruchika.
Yes, you were there. You told your story to Julie’s soul in her dreams. I made her feel connected to you. That very day, when she was brought to the hospital, doctors had told Meera to help her divert her mind. She was about to call her husband but doctors assured her that it was just a panic attack. That was when I directed her mind to your sister. After gaining consciousness, Meera took her to your place where everyone was consoling your father. Twinkle had a chat with Julie about the depressive state she was going through. I once again created an illusion and you thought that Meera was busy with the maid preparing tea, and you felt that you were busy talking to Julie.
Actually, Julie at that time was convincing Twinkle to meet Bob as she was on leave and she agreed when Meera persuaded her. I made Meera go out with Julie for sightseeing and when she returned she was so tired that she was fast asleep. That was the time I led you to enter her dream world and you had a conversation with her soul again.
So, it was not me whom they persuaded to travel, asked Ruchika.
No, it was not you: said Krishna with a smile.
It was still not easy to convince Ruchika that she was just a soul, not a body. She was thinking hard and asked Krishna: I had a conversation with my father about the papers of the house.
Krishna smiled and started playing his flute.
The music again calmed Ruchika. Mesmerised with the music she closed her eyes. In a flash, she saw her diary along with home papers lying on the table. She opened her eyes and said they were reading my diary! and I thought they were talking to me. She continued asking, then
what about my sister kneeling in front of me and begging for forgiveness the next morning.
Krishna smiled and said you are my one stubborn child! He showed her sister sitting on her empty bed and asking forgiveness from her photograph which was on the wall.
They were looking and talking to your photograph. They did not feel your presence around. Also, the shifting of the house and donations was done entirely by your sister. She took the stand and forced your to father settle in the new house with his sister.
The day you thought you left for NewYork, that was the day when they welcomed the old lady to accompany and live with your father so Twinkle could go back to America peacefully.
Oh really !! Then what about the woman at the airport?
There was no woman at the airport Ruchika. I again created an illusion and made you feel that a woman had come to pick you at the airport. The woman you thought was going along with you in the taxi was already dead. She indeed was Bob’s secretary at one time but she had died the very same day in a car crash. You consoled her soul. You made her forgive her husband and you only made her realize that all was well. She was relieved of the burden and that was when I called for her soul.
What? What are you saying I was traveling with a dead woman said Ruchika.
Krishna laughed and said: Why are you so shocked. You are dead too and I made you meet many dead souls. Recall my child, recollect the time when a white sparkling light sparkled in front of your eyes every time after you would heal an ailing heart with your words. You led all of them to me and helped their souls by not wandering on earth with grief and guilt. You helped them release themselves.
Ruchika was all confused and was in a state of shock. She again questioned Krishna: Was Robby also a soul?
Krishna said: No, he is very much alive. Not every soul you helped in evolving was dead Ruchika! The illusion made you meet some who were connected to you in your previous life and needed your forgiveness to evolve and you met some who were dead but actually needed your help to evolve with your wise words.
Ruchika was silent for a while. She continued saying but I did not meet anyone except Robby. Her memory seemed to fade away now. She was forgetting who all she had helped.
Krishna sat by her side and said: It looks like this conversation is going to take long. Let’s start with Aarav.
Ruchika looked at Krishna and asked in a sad tone: Is he dead?
Krishna nodded in affirmation
Ruchika had tears in her eyes. She said: No he can’t, though he wronged me in every way possible. I always prayed for him to live in peace.
Krishna laughed and said: Ruchika, when will you start understanding the difference between love and hate.
You hated him. Remember you told him that. You only told him that you are forgiving him for your selfish reason because you did not want to meet him in any other birth of yours. Remember?
Yes, said Ruchika in a feeble voice. Krishna said: then why do you hold love in your heart for him, unless you want to meet him again sometime.
With this Krishna noticed fear written all over Ruchika’s face.
Ruchika instantly said: No, no, no, not in this birth or any other birth. I do not wish to meet any man who has wronged me in this lifetime.
I was joking because I was missing this expression on your face: said Krishna with a wink.
Krishna continued saying: when you forgive someone, you automatically pray for them. Sometimes and most of the times you erase them from your memory like they never existed. I know that you have gone through a lot in life because of that demon Aarav but I assure you, he will not trouble you ever again.
Ruchika looked relieved and questioned further, then what about Mr. Robbinson.
Krishna said look there and he showed her the cloud. In that cloud, she saw Tom was sitting in Bob’s office signing releasing papers of Nancy. He was holding Nancy’s hand with all his love and was apologizing for what he had done.
Ruchika was smiling now. She looked at Krishna and thanked him one more time. Once again she had another question for her Krishna. She questioned: where is Mrs. Andrea Robbinson. Why had he come alone to take Nancy home?
Krishna smiled and for one more time took Ruchika back to the time where she was standing near the window in the hotel room watching a car throwing a dead body of a woman.
Ruchika’s mouth was wide open. She exclaimed: That woman was Andrea! And you mean to say that I was traveling and talking to Andrea’s ghost. But Krishna if she was a ghost how could I touch her and what made Andrea come to me.
Krishna smiled and started playing his flute to calm Ruchika one more time. When he felt that she was peaceful again, Krishna said: I directed her soul to you. She wanted help. She wanted someone to listen to her story. I sent her to you. As far as traveling and touching her comes, he said with a chuckle you are forgetting you were a ghost too.
Krishna continued saying: That very same day Tom had consumed poison and was almost dead. Once again the cloud screen was on display. Krishna showed Ruchika how Isabelle and Twinkle took Tom to the hospital to save his life and Ruchika had stood with his soul on the stairs consoling him. She also realized that Andrea was not there.
What are Twinkle and Isabelle doing there, she asked in a shocked tone.
Krishna took a deep breath and said: Remember, you used to have shooting pain in your legs and you could not find any medical reason for that. Julie had wanted you to team up with Robby because he was also going through the same pain. She thought that you people would understand each other’s pain and would be able to help each other. But unfortunately, you chose death. Then Bob had to team him up with someone, who too had the same kind of unknown pain for his experiment and that was when he chose Isabelle.
Krishna continued: But I had not decided that. I chose Robby for you and not for her. The first fight you thought you had with Robby was actually Isabelle having it with him. I only made him meet with an accident the very same day so that his soul could meet yours and that was when Twinkle reached Bob. The case was given to Isabelle and Twinkle. Now they were destined to meet.
Ruchika was trying to understand what Krishna was telling her. She was joining the threads now. She asked again: so that means the day Robby took me out for sightseeing it was not me, it was Isabelle.Why did I not see any accident happening?
Krishna started laughing and said: My dear child if I make you see everything then life would be so simple for you. Isn’t it?
He continued: That night when Isabelle was howling she was not talking to you she was talking to herself. You never met her in human form. It was Robby who met her.
Remember few times Robby used to do vanish acts and you would only meet him during nights.
Ruchika nodded in affirmation. She was more curious now.
Krishna said: That was the time when I was making Robby come back to consciousness. He knows you as a beautiful dream. He never met you in human form.
Tears started rolling Ruchika’s face. Krishna asked her the reason behind her tears.
Ruchika said: I will never be able to love him or embrace him in my arms anymore. Had I chosen life, maybe, we would have met. Who knows we might have married but I chose death. She continued: Why, why we humans cannot understand that maybe the future holds good surprises for us.
Krishna says: That is for you to understand. I have sent many spiritual Guru’s on earth to teach you people lessons but you souls just do not pay heed. When in depression, you should serve. Serve as many as you can. Give your helping hand to those who like you, are searching for love. Give your smile to someone who has been searching ways to smile. Give your time to those who forgot to live in time. Give food to hungry, give your words to ailing heart. Just give give give because what you give I will return that to you in many folds and it is up to you what you give. He said with a wink again.
Krishna continued: You remember that fat guy Tammy.
Ruchika said: Yes, I prayed for him too since he was living with a guilt of killing and sexually abusing kids. He told me that he had lost his sleep because of a three-year-old girl’s soul. He had no peace. He was very fat and stinky too.
Krishna smiled and said: the more you forgive, the more beautiful and younger you will feel.
Ruchika said in a bit irritated tone: Why should I have forgiven him? I don’t even know who he was.
Krishna said: Your body did not recognize him but your soul did. The girl he was talking about was you Ruchika.
Ruchika exclaimed: Me!!!
Yes, his soul did not find a place in hell or heaven for eons. He was living astrally since he did this to you in the year 1920.
Ruchika exclaimed: 1920!!!
Krishna said: Yes Ruchika you have taken many births on this earth. This is not your first birth. In one of your birth, this horrifying man made your life miserable. It left an impact on you. After this, you were never able to open to family life. Your scars subconsciously never let you live your life joyfully. But now your soul is free from fear and guilt of Aarav and that filthy man.
Krishna added further: I hope you don’t need any other explanations to let you know that your this phase of life is over.
Ruchika was still thinking. She looked at Krishna and Krishna could make out that she still had questions.
Krishna smiled and said: You have all the time in the world. Keep asking. I will not leave any question unanswered today.
She said: I met a woman called Varati.
Ah! There you are: said, Krishna.
He again opened his cloud screen and showed Ruchika: Twinkle was working in an office and Varati was her colleague. Varati used to act good and friendly in front of Twinkle but was actually jealous. She would often give Twinkle some display items to keep on her work table as a gift which she used to bring from the voodoo market after getting BlackMagic done on them.
Krishna showed Ruchika how Varati was happy when Twinkle had cried on losing her mother, her sister and then her father.
What? Why Krishna! Why my father she said in a shocked tone.
Wait and see said, Krishna. She once again looked in the cloud.
Varati was very happy but that very same day she lost her ailing mother to a brain stroke. Her sister too met with an accident. One day while getting on the local train she fell down and died.
Krishna showed Ruchika how Varati’s soul could not go in the white light. She kept wandering on earth and then she saw that her family members, her sisters even her son’s were thanking God for taking away an evil person from their life. They all were so relieved by her death. No one had even one good word to say for her. She was full of remorse then but could do nothing except cry and wander astrally.
I sent her to the hospital where Twinkle was meeting Bob. Twinkle was telling Bob about her severe depression. I showed all this to Varati. Her soul cried hard and asked for forgiveness for making people’s life miserable. That is the time when I decided that she should meet you.
She knew that you were Twinkle’s sister. Your words healed her soul and I took her back to my refuge. She is planning her new birth now and has promised to be a good person.
Oh! So my sister is lonely said a sad Ruchika.
Yes, very lonely and not only your sister but Robby too.
Ruchika started sobbing inconsolably.
Krishna said: Had you not chosen death that day, your life would have been different. Your father too suffered many lonely nights. At last, he chose to leave the world only to come back to you and Twinkle.
Ruchika looked at Krishna surprisingly.
Yes, he is with you and will never leave you Ruchika because he loved you always.
Your sister, now, is having the same trouble that you had the unknown pain. Would you not like to help her to release her grief so that this pain would stop.
How can I do that? I am not alive anymore said Ruchika
Krishna started playing his flute.
Ruchika was moving upwards towards the sky. Her body felt light like a feather. She could feel no emotions and somewhere in between, she fell asleep. She was still in the deep sleep when she heard someone playing the flute. The voice seemed to be coming from far somewhere. The music of the flute was soothing and mesmerizing. She had never heard flute being played so beautifully. It made her feel at peace and on top of the world. She was in a trance. She felt like dancing. She was enjoying the melody. The sweetness in the music gave rise to compassion in her heart. She was enjoying so much that tears of love started flowing from her eyes. She tried hard to open her eyes but she could not.
Unknowingly, she called for Krishna and said, “Hare Krishna”. With this, she was able to open her eyes but the music of flute also stopped. She looked around. She saw herself lying on a bench. She was surprised to see herself in the clothes which she had worn when she had died before. She was a bit startled now. There was white light glowing all around her. She called her mother but there was no answer. No one came. She thought of getting up from the bench but was scared of falling because she could only see white light all around her and could not see any solid ground beneath.
She was frightened and was trying hard to figure out what to do when she heard a melodious voice that said: Ruchika, you took my name and I let you open your eyes. Take my name again and come to me. It continued saying if you even doubt me for a minute while you keep your foot down, that would mean that you give more power to your fear than faith in me.
Ruchika looked here and there but saw no one around. She said: Hare Krishna! and put her foot down. Now she realized that she was walking on the clouds. She was unable to see anything around except the blue vast sky with clouds and beautiful birds flying in freedom all around. She kept on walking saying Hare Krishna with a smile on her face and felt coming close to a blue light. The bright blue color light filled her aura with compassion, love, and devotion. She went into ecstasy and started singing Hare Krishna Hare Rama. While she was singing she saw a white figure coming closer to her. As the figure came closer to her she felt cold. Her soul was shivering. She could not bear the bright light and closed her eyes.
she felt a soft touch on her shoulder. In the most melodious voice, she heard her name being called. It said: Ruchika open your eyes. She opened her eyes and saw a huge ball of light glowing. She took time to adjust to seeing the light. A beautiful serene face with the most compassionate eyes looking at her. She immediately fell on his feet and said: Oh Krishna, Is that you!! I am so lucky and blessed to see you.
Krishna said: Welcome to heaven, my dearest Ruchika.
Ruchika came out of her dazed state and gathered her self. She said: Oh Krishna! but how can I come now? It’s not my time to leave that world. I just had started living my life with happiness. After so many years and with great difficulty I am able to find someone who loves me and someone who I can trust!
Krishna laughed and said teasingly: Really? Then tell me what happened to those people who searched love in you and trusted you to be on their side always. What did you do to them Ruchika?
Ruchika stood up straight and said: I fail to understand you, my lord. I have never betrayed anyone in this life.
Krishna starting playing his flute and started moving on. One more time Ruchika was mesmerized. She closed her eyes and forgot everything about the earthly world. The flute again stopped suddenly and Krishna asked Ruchika: Enjoying the tune and peace around my child.
Ruchika replied: Yes Krishna, I am
She felt he was smiling at her and she smiled back.
Krishna then said: I am still waiting for your answer Ruchika.
Ruchika was baffled. What are you talking about Krishna?
Krishna continued: I am talking about your father, your sister. What was their fault? They too were searching for love and trust in you. Then why did you betray them? Why did you choose death? Why did you ask me to take you away from that world?
He cleared one cloud and made it in to look like a shift television. He told her to look into it. He made her watch her ailing father who was left all lonely after she died. He would switch on all the lights of her room and would sit outside in the drawing room watching T.V. He would cry and keep telling himself that Ruchika was sitting inside and was working like always. He used to keep two plates on the dining table for dinner. He would serve dinner on Ruchika’s plate every single night and then the next day would give it to a cow.
Then he showed Ruchika her sister living in U.S. Every night she would kiss Ruchika’s picture and would hold her photograph to her heart and cry hard. She lost a sister with whom she could share her heart out. While showing her sister Krishna said, do you know your sister has stopped wearing sarees because she feels that no one else can drape her saree as beautifully as you did.
What was their fault Ruchika? How did you become so selfish and self-centered that you could only think of yourself?
Ruchika was watching how unhappy her family was after she died. How lonely they felt when she chose death over life.
She said: They never loved me and never cared about me when I was alive. Your material world wants material needs only. There was no love at that time in between us.
Krishna said: Yes, love was always there but you failed to see it in self-pity. You failed miserably when you went into depression. Do you know the easiest way to fall into depression is to keep thinking about yourself? That is what you were doing. What about me? They don’t love me. They don’t care for me. It was all about “ME” Ruchika. Did you even bother to think that the loss of your mother was not just for you but for everyone? A part of them died along with her. They too were busy searching themselves and you were so full of venom in your heart that I had to call you back to take that poison off from your soul.
Ruchika was listening to Krishna silently with her head bent down. She realized that calling death was a mistake.
She was recalling now, how her mind had played games at that time. At the time when her mother had died, she had desperately begged for death. Krishna heard her plea but when she was face to face with death in the hospital she was scared to witness death in front of her at that time she wanted to live and had begged the doctors to save her from that pain.
She was in chaos and could not make up her mind whether she wants to live or die. Once she was out of the body in that confusion, she felt peace because she left the body that gave her pain, She was not scared of what the future would hold for her in the materialistic world, she was free from all aches and pains that body gave it to her.
While she was recalling all this Krishna was playing his flute. The music was soothing her mind and nerves. She had no words to define her feelings.
She broke the silence and continued saying: Yes, I realize all this now Krishna. But after I died and met my mother she told me that I had to go back and had to finish that I had left in between, and I did go back.
Krishna laughed and said: No Ruchika, you did not. Your soul is way too stubborn.
Ruchika was shocked by what Krishna was saying. She said: what are you saying, Krishna. I was on earth. I just came back from there.
Krishna laughed and said: Yes, you were on earth enjoying your vacations with Robby, and learning lessons of love and forgiveness.
Ruchika smiled and said: Yes, I was alive and happy.
Krishna again said: No you were not Ruchika! By the time we convinced you to go back, your body had turned into ashes and that was the time I had to create an illusion of life in front of you. I had to send you back to finish your karmas before I could lead you to the path of salvation.
No, No it’s not true. You are lying. I am alive said Ruchika. She was crying like a little baby now.
Krishna smiled and said: No it was all an illusion created by me.
Ruchika questioned Krishna: If I was not alive then how come Julie came to meet me. How did Bob give me a case to solve with Robby and how did I meet so many people. I helped them come out of their shells and solve their problems. Also, I met Aarav who asked for my forgiveness.
Krishna laughed: Did you hear what Aarav said to you. It seems you did not hear him clearly.
Ruchika thought about the conversation she had with Aarav and it struck her that he had said that he was in his fifties.
Krishna’s flute was playing in the background continuously, which was calming Ruchika’s nerves too.
Ruchika stopped crying and remembered, yes Aarav had said that he was in his fifties. But how was all this happening?
If I was never there in that world, then how did I met Robby and above all how did I along with my sister set our new house in Gurugram for our father. She was confused.
She was shaking her head in a disturbing manner saying to herself that it is not true. I am dreaming right now and this dream will soon get over.
That is when Krishna told her: No, you are not dreaming my child. Calm down. Let me show you how I created illusions to sound like reality. Come let us start from the beginning. So are you ready to watch your illusioned life one more time?
Ruchi nodded in affirmation. Krishna started with Ruchika’s encounter with Julie.
Illinois! What am I doing here and where is Mr. Robbinson. Ruchika stood up confused on that lonely road. Her mind was full of questions. How was all this happening? How did she reach Illinois? Where was Robby? Oh my God what is happening she said in an irritated tone. She thought how worried Robby must be by now. She started to walk towards the city in hope of getting some help. She realized that she was famished, but she had no money with her. How could she get something to eat. The thirst was killing her. Luckily for her, few yards away she saw a party like going on. She went near and saw that it was a wedding. She thought of trespassing it and feed her hungry stomach. She also thought that maybe she might find Mr.Robinson there. She thought to herself at least I should try looking around for him. She gathered her wits and started to walk towards the wedding place. As she neared the place she saw a man who looked like a beggar sitting in a corner smoking outside the place where the wedding was happening. She moved closer to see who this man was since she felt that she knew him. He was sitting there smoking a cigar. She somehow felt that she knew him. She moved closer to see who the man was. The man was very untidy. It looked like that he had not shaved or had taken any bath for many days. The man was staring back at her continuously. Ruchika went closer to see but was shocked out of her wits to realize that she knew the person. He was Aarav! The man, behind Ruchika’s heartbreak and depression. He was one man that Ruchika had loved with all her sincerity. But this man finding Ruchika so naïve played with all her emotions. This man raped her emotions. Even after he got married to a rich girl, he kept coming back in her life to make her feel inferior. He kept on taking advantage of Ruchika’s innocence. It was a difficult phase for Ruchika. She went through hell to move on from this relation with Aarav. It was a hard time for her.
Ruchika was confused. She remembered that Aarav had married a rich girl and shifted to U.S. She had also heard from friends that he was a father of two kids and his wife was doing some good business. Then what was this? How could this be true seeing that same man in such a shabby state?
Thinking of the past, her pain and anguish Ruchika somehow flew off the handle. She moved forward and without thinking much started to slap Aarav. She kept slapping him. Tears were flowing down her eyes but the hatred in her heart did not let her stop. At last, her hands got tired of slapping Aarav.
Aarav was standing there quietly. He did not move an inch. Ruchika could see that there was no remorse or repentance on his face.
She turned to go away when she heard him saying: I will meet you again, maybe in your next one.
Ruchika stood there like for an eternity, but then gathered herself. She could not fail herself. She took a deep breath and turned and looked at him. This time she smiled and said: I am trying to forgive you, not because I want to.I am trying to forgive you so that I can live this life in peace and I do not have to meet you in any other lifetime.
Aarav laughed out loudly and said sarcastically: Really! Do you realize that I have met you in every birth? We have been together in all and in every birth. I have come in your life only to betray you and play ruthlessly with your emotions.I will kill you emotionally every time and leave you to cry your life at every birth. I will never ever let you live in peace.
Ruchika said with tears in her eyes: why are you doing this to me. Why are you after me. What is it that you want from me? If it is my body then I am here.
He smiled and said: Ruchika trust me you were an easy catch for me. It was a very easy game for me to use you emotionally, but I spared you. Listen to me carefully, Ruchika, read my lips I spared you and he laughed like a devil.
If you say that you spared me then please let me go. Release me from your thoughts so that I can live in peace. Why are you following me she demanded to know. Aarav came close to her. Tears were flowing down on his face. For one second Ruchika’s heart went out to him but then remembering that Aarav was a big drama in himself she held her ground strongly. She was still wondering why Aarav was playing with her emotions.
Aarav came closer to Ruchika, held her hand and said, for old sake time please sit here for few minutes and let me tell you a short story.
Ruchika pushed him away and said: I have nothing to do with you or your lies. Please let me go Aarav.
Aarav kneeled in front of her with folded hands and said: Please Ruchika give me one chance to explain. I really need to apologize to you for what I did to you. The karma has hit me back. Today my daughter has met the same fate. She loved a boy with all her heart and that boy used her and abused her emotions. She has lost all her trust in men and refuses to marry at all.
Ruchika was baffled and asked, but your daughter should be only one or two years old!
Aarav said: I am 50 and my daughter is not that small. Ruchika was confused. She was wondering how come he had aged so much.
He was reading her confusion and continued saying: Ruchi, you will understand all in time, but for that, you will have to forgive me for the depth of your heart. I have yearned to meet with you in your next life. I prayed hard that I will be truthful to you but then I messed up everything so beautifully in this lifetime that the God has closed the doors of hell also for me. My soul is not resting in peace. I beg for your forgiveness. I promise that I would be more respectful towards a woman in my next lifetime and never ever play with anyone’s emotions.
Ruchika was listening to him but was unable to understand anything. She could not understand Aarav’s unusual behavior.
She said: Please Aarav leave me alone. I am here in search of someone who I feel, maybe in this wedding. Stop wasting my time and let me go.
Aarav was still holding her hands. His eyes were full of tears.He begged her one more time: Please forgive me Ruchi.
Ruchika looked at him. She could remember all the bad times this man had given her but she also felt that she had moved in her life. This man did not matter to her. She told him: Aarav the time has gone. I have moved on in life and so did you. I have nothing against you I forgive you. Now please let me go.
He smiled at her and thanked her for realizing him from his guilt. He said: by the way that is not a wedding. I died today. This is my wife’s way of celebrating my death.
Ruchika was more confused now. She stood there frozen. At the party someone played a song:
I’m sorry that I hurt you
It’s something I must live with every day
And all the pain I put you through
I wish I could take it all away
And be the one who catches all your tears
That’s why I need you to hear
I’ve found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you
When the song stopped, she again saw a white spark in front of her eyes. She saw Aarav going into the oblivion. Ruchika felt she was rolling in the light as if she was on a rollercoaster. She could hear someone was shaking her and calling her name. She opened her eyes and saw herself in the hands of Robby holding her and saving her one more time from a road accident.
Robby screamed: What do you keep on doing and where have you been. I have been searching for you all night.
Ruchika was at a loss to understand anything. She felt Robby looked sad and cranky.
Ruchika felt it was because of her. Maybe Robby was angry with her.
Ruchika: I am sorry Robby, that I left without telling you. She added excitedly: You know I met Mrs. Andrea Robbinson. She came to our hotel room and the story she told me was totally opposite of what that old lady had told us. It seemed that Robby was not at all listening to her. She shook Robby and turned his face towards her only to see tears in his eyes.
Ruchika was surprised. She was still thinking that Robby was hurt and angry with her. She kept apologizing to Robby but it seemed all was falling on deaf ears.
She was puzzled. One more time she held his hand and said: Robby please listen to me once.
Robby turned around and said: Listen, listen to the song playing.
Somewhere far away a song of Twilight was playing: I ‘ve died every day waiting for you.
He held her hand and asked for a dance. Ruchika felt flattered. She smilingly asked him: You want me to dance with you here on the road.
Yes, Why not. Are you scared: asked Robby
No, I am not said a shy Ruchika.
Ruchika was swinging in Robby’s arms with the music. He had sadness writ large on his face. He looked deep into Ruchika’s eyes and sang along: I have died every day, waiting for you
Darling, don’t be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more.
Ruchika felt love all around her. She was smiling from cheeks to ears. Suddenly she could only hear Robby saying: Please don’t go. Don’t leave me, please. Ruchika saw herself being engulfed in white light.
She saw Robby was running after her but she could not understand what was happening around her.
How can I go !! She was confused. She was moving upwards in speed in the white light.
Ruchika introduced herself to Tom as a friend of his wife Andrea. Tom stood up and shook hands with her. She looked at him closely. He looked old and tired. Ruchika further told Tom that she felt he was a lucky man to be blessed with a wife like Andrea.
Tom said in a sad tone, how does it matter. I am a failure. I have failed as a husband to both of the women I married. I have miserably failed as a father and above all, I failed as a businessman too. I am a total failure and you come here to tell me that I am blessed! There is nothing more left in this life for me to experience.
Ruchika took a deep breath and asked Tom if she could sit beside him for a while. Tom nodded and then holding the railing of the staircase he moved a bit to give her space to sit.
I should offer you something, saying this Tom tried to get up.
No, it’s perfectly okay. I had a long journey and I am full. I’ll take water after a while. I am fine. Please sit.
She held his hand and said: Tom, Andrea told me about her relationship with you. She hesitated a bit but then gathered courage and said in a feeble tone, she also told me about Nancy and you.
Tom gave her one look and lost control of his tears. He had been holding and hiding so many things in his heart from people for so long. He cried hard while Ruchika just kept holding his hand assuring him that she was there to share his pain.
She further said: You can open your heart in front of me and trust me, I am all ears. Sometimes it feels good to talk to strangers.
It seemed as if Tom was waiting for this moment.
Tom started saying: All my life, I struggled to be a good husband and a good father. God blessed me twice with wives and children but I failed miserably.
I loved my first wife Nancy with all my heart and soul. I had a son with her. We named him Jim, he said with twinkles in his eyes. He was the love of my life. Because of Jim, I realized what fatherhood was like. You know, the feeling cannot be put in words when I had first held my tiny Jim in my hands. He was a precious part of me. I felt God had come in the form of Jim to love me back. I had so many dreams for him. I wanted to give him the best. I wanted us to be best friends for life. I could only dream of a beautiful life with him and my wife Nancy. But that demonic accident made me lose everything, my wife’s trust, my son, my peace of mind.
Suddenly his facial expressions changed and Ruchika could see hatred on his face. He continued saying all this happened because of that witch Andrea. She married me for my business and property. She gave birth to twin girls but never let me get close to my daughters. My daughters hated me. I could never tell them that I loved them because of that witch Andrea. Andrea forced me to work day and night and trust me I worked like a madman. I had no time for anyone, not even for my ex-wife who was rotting in the asylum. Tom continued saying all good things about his ex-wife Nancy and all the worst things for Andrea.
Ruchika was sitting there only holding his hand and letting him speak his heart out. Her eyes were also trying to locate Andrea. She really did not want Andrea to hear all the poisonous talks which Tom was blurting out.
She kind of felt relieved that Andrea was not around. After some time, Tom stopped cursing Andrea and Ruchika felt too that he had thrown his venom out. Then, Ruchika started talking to him.
Ruchika said: Tom, you know at one point in my life I was like you only. I also used to blame everyone around me for the problems I was suffering in my life.
She smiled recalling her old self.
Tom said in a sarcastic tone: My dear lady, you are still young and you don’t know what life is. If you step into my shoes once, then only the reality of life will jolt you and you will know how ruthless life is.
Ruchika said: I do not have to step into your shoe because each human is born on this earth with different lessons to work on. Each human is sent here with a different learning.
I told you that I also used to blame people exactly the way you are doing now. One day, I was out with my boss for a business meeting and on our way back I was cribbing a lot about my life, my friends, and their behavior. My boss was a sagacious man. He politely told me that the behavior I was getting from people around me was the reflection of what I was giving to them. He said my behavior and my thoughts were the roots that caused all the problems that I was facing, all began because of me only.
I was very upset with him and I decided that I would not tell him anything in future. But his words had hit me hard somewhere. It was one afternoon when I was busy working from home. I was also thinking what my boss had told me that day. To prove him wrong I started recalling every incident that had broken my heart, whether it was betrayal from my loved ones, friends or a lover.I felt that somewhere it all began with me only.
Tom said in an irritated tone: you mean to say that the accident happened because of me. My ex-wife went to a mental asylum because of me and then this Andrea the witch who came into my life had twin daughters from me troubled me the whole of my life because of me only. How can it be possible? Please leave you are a crazy girl.
He tried getting up but Ruchika held his hand and made him sit again. She continued saying: Why not? Recall the time when you came into Nancy’s father’s factory as a worker. Now for my sake, only for few minutes visualize your story as an audience. Being detached from all the consequences and emotions. Trust me, you will understand.
Ruchika made him close his eyes. He did as told.
Now had you not dated Nancy you wouldn’t have married her in the first instance.
You chose to stay with Nancy in her house. It was you who could not handle business after your father in law died. You could have taken Nancy’s help since she also knew the business and spent maximum time with her father in the factory as well in the home but instead, you searched for Andrea. You invited Andrea to stay at your house. Because of you, both the women started fighting. Had you been not in stress that accident wouldn’t have happened and after that when Andrea accepted your proposal of marriage just out of love what did you gave her in return, only hatred?
Andrea forced you to work because she could see that you were drowning yourself in depression. She did not let the kids come close to you because she did not want your daughters to see their father’s broken spirit. Every daughter wants her father to be the strongest in the world. She forced you to work so that you would divert your mind and come out of your depressive state. She wanted you to be a man who could earn living for his family. She too with her daughter wanted to depend on her strong husband. But what did you do?
You took everything the other way, the way your employees told you. You heeded to gossips instead of trusting her! Andrea loved you and so did Nancy. The only problem was with you. You could not stand and accept the responsibilities for your own actions.
Tom opened his eyes. They were burning with anger. He screamed saying how you dare tell me that I trusted the gossip given to me by my employees.
Ruchika was not at all scared, she continued saying: look inside you. Think and ask this question to yourself. Recall the time when your newly appointed employee came to you on the day your twin daughters were born. He told you that he had brought a message to you from your wife. He told you that Andrea had asked you not to visit her whereas, Andrea was eagerly waiting for you. She was waiting for the time when you would come and take your daughters in your arms.
Did you even once confirm with Andrea whether she had said that or not? She never asked you to stay away from girls. You formed your own negative opinion. With one negative emotion and ruined your life hating Andrea all the while.
All of her life, she kept on yearning for your love. She had been soft to every plea of yours, whether it was an invitation given by you to take over half of your business or invitation to stay at home. What did you do? Where do you see yourself? Do you think by holding so many grudges and by playing blame games you could have a happy life? No, you will always be jealous and would find ways to destroy your own happiness, Tom! Ruchika continued saying: For heaven sake, look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself are you the same man who was full of love.
Tom started crying again and said what have I done? He was cursing himself now.
What do you mean by what have you done: asked Ruchika Tom replied: You know, I planned her murder. I paid the mafia to kill her.
Ruchika exclaimed: You paid for her murder?
Tom replied: Yes because I was fed up looking at her face. I hated her each day. I just could not stand her anymore.
Ruchika said: Well, you can tell them not to kill her anymore. Take your money back from them. And when you meet Andrea apologize to her with all your heart and start a new life from scratch.
Tom said: It’s too late now.
What? What do you mean asked Ruchika
I mean its 2 am in the morning. She must be on her way to Illinois to meet her sister and it was planned by the mafia that they would murder her on the way. Even if we drive now we will not be able to reach them.
Ruchika says: Relax. I accompanied her here and she must have gone to sleep because she did mention that she was tired.
Tom smiled and said you don’t know her. She hardly sleeps. She only thinks about business every minute and also tomorrow her nephew is getting married to a girl who is the daughter of the richest man in Illinois. I know her well. She would be there only. Trust me I know my wife more than anyone else. He said it with a smile.
Can you accompany me to Illinois, he asked Ruchika.
Ruchika jumped to the idea and said: Sure, let’s go. Tom took the car out and they both started their journey.
While driving Tom remarked saying: I never realized what I was doing to Andrea all this time. He said he would not only apologize to her but would also visit Nancy and apologize to her as well.
Ruchika said: I can tell you where Nancy is.
I know she is at Bob’s hospital said, Tom
Indeed she is: said Ruchika. With this, she saw two sparkling lights passing in front of her eyes again and before she could complete her sentence she was fast asleep. She was not only tired because of the journey but after talking to Andrea and Tom her energy was all sucked up. She had wanted to rest, and sleep came easily to her. Once asleep, she once again met her mother in her dreams.
She hugged her like always but this time her mother was sad.
Why are you, sad mom; asked Ruchika
I am sad because I have to leave you to come back to you.
What do you mean Mom?
She smiled and said your vacation is almost finished its time for you to leave soon.
But I still have time Mom said Ruchika. You know I met someone. He is the man of my dreams. You always wanted me to get married. The time has come mom.
Yes, my dear child, the time has come. It’s time for you to move on…
Move to where mom. With this, Ruchika was out of her dream. She got up to a lot of noises around her. She saw herself lying on the pavement. Tom and Andrea Robinson were nowhere near. Ruchika was in an unknown place. She looked around and saw a signboard saying: Welcome to Illinois.
Ruchika was scared to open the door but she had to, there was no other choice. She decided to seek Bob’s help to pay for the hotel expenses. She opened the door. A lady was standing in front of her.
She looked at her with a question mark on her face.
The lady was smiling but when she saw Ruchika at the door she said oh! I think I have knocked the wrong door. My room is the other way or maybe on the other floor. I’ll just check with the reception. I am so sorry to disturb you. With this, she started to leave.
Ruchika recognized the woman. She was the same woman who she had seen being thrown from the car. Ruchika said: Please wait, I just saw you being thrown out of the car!
Who me? No. I am not that woman, you may be mistaken: said she
Ruchika saw the woman shivering. She said: Oh maybe, I am mistaken. Anyways would you want to come in and sit for a while? I think I got all confused. Actually, I saw that woman getting injured when she was thrown. Why don’t you come in? The woman was quick to accept her invite and came in the room. The lady took out her gloves and tiger printed cap and coat and said: your room is quite big.
Ruchika went to the window to see if the injured woman was still there on the road. The old lady too walked to the window and said: She is dead. It was a mafia attack. They will take care of it. All will be fine.
Mafia attack! And you say all will be fine
How do you know? Reacted Ruchika.
The old lady went and sat on the sofa. She continued saying: I know many things young lady. Would you have some scotch in your fridge, she said with a smile.
Ruchika said: No I don’t drink but I can offer you a coke. With this, she went and brought her a coke can.
Ruchika looks at her and says I am sorry but I don’t know your name yet. Who are you and what are you doing here. Are you here for any business or pleasure.
The woman introduced herself as Mrs. Andrea Robbinson. Ruchika instantly recognized the name and wanted to ask her husbands name but she acted wisely. She asked her further, so what brings you here?
Mrs.Andrea says: I stay in Chicago and I have an empire of business.
Oh really? What kind of a business you do: asked Ruchika.
Mrs. Andrea says: Oh I have my hand in many different types of business and I take care of them single handly.
Ruchika probed further and said: but is it not the time for you to pass on the legacy and sit back and enjoy.
To this, Mrs. Andrea smiled sarcastically and said the legacy is passed only when you trust your blood. My blood has betrayed me and maybe it was destined to be like this she said it with sadness in her voice.
Ruchika went and sat close to Mrs.Anderson. She held her hand lovingly and said: why do you say so?
Ruchika was amazed at the big diamond rings on Mrs.Anderson’s fingers. She further added: your own blood can never betray you.
Andrea smiled and said: You are still very young my child. You will learn with time that this world is full of selfishness and dirty politics, where no one is yours.
My husband Tom married me so that I could take care of his business. It was a business deal and he never loved me. With tears in her eyes she said, he often blames me for losing his family whereas I have nothing to do with it.
He blames you for losing his family asked Ruchika.
Andrea nodded in affirmation. Ruchika saw her shivering. She went and prepared coffee for both of them in the electric heater that was lying in the room.
Andrea: Thank you, dear. You are very kind.
Ruchika: You don’t sound American from your accent.
Andrea: Yes, I am basically from London. Must say you have good observation power girl, she said smilingly.
Ruchika wanted to continue the conversation so she could make sure that she was with the same Mrs.Andrea Robbinson they were looking for.
She probed further: But I don’t understand why your husband blamed you for losing his family.
Andrea shook her head in dismay and continued: I met Tom in a friends office. He was there for some business. We got talking and he told me that he was looking for someone to join him as his business was expanding. Due to so much of pressure, he was unable to give quality time to his son and wife. I agreed and became his partner in the business. I took over half of the business in partnership. I had to shift so that I could be close to Tom’s office. While we were looking for a home for me Tom suggested that I could shift in his home for sometime till I find a good place. Since we were already partners I did not see any issue with this. I shifted and started helping Tom with day to day work. Somehow this made his wife jealous and insecure. She started fighting with Tom. I spoke to her and told her that I was there for a pure business purpose and not to act as a vamp in her life but my pleas were not heard by Tom’s wife. I am a businesswoman and not a vamp.
Nancy his wife, started calling me names so I told Tom that I was leaving as I could not take that much of disrespect from any other woman unnecessarily. Also, I had received a letter from my father that he had fixed my marriage with my childhood friend who stayed in New York and I should wind up everything and return soon. I was happy with my father’s decision. I went happily to tell all this to Tom and while we were talking about this only Nancy came into the room and started fighting with me. She went to the extent of calling me Tom’s mistress. I was devastated and decided to leave immediately. Tom begged me to stay at least for a month more, till his business stabilized. He told me that in meantime he will take his family out for vacation and that might solve Nancy’s insecurities. So two days after this conversation, he took his family for a vacation somewhere in NewYork but he never came back. I too had to leave for London for my marriage. After waiting for long, I sent my secretary to New York to search for them at the address he had given me before leaving. But destiny wanted something else. My secretary’s probe led to finding Tom in a jail. With lots of problems, at last, he was able to bail Tom. Tom returned with my secretary with half heart. He told me that they had met with an accident in front of some cemetery and in that accident he had lost his son on the spot. When the police came, Nancy accused Tom of killing their only son because he was the heir to Nancy’s father’s property.
The police drama went on for long with investigations. Here depression took over Nancy. We admitted her to a hospital for a while. But when she was brought back home after treatment she was still not stable. The moment she would see me, she would attack me. She even started attacking strangers, so Tom decided to send her to the hospital again. The doctor there told us that the case was very weak and Nancy may lose her memory. She was to be kept in the mental asylum now. We left her there in safe custody. Once back I don’t know what took over me. Was it pity or love. I married Tom! I still wonder why a business woman like me became emotional. But soon after our marriage, strange things started happening in the house.
We had to leave the house and we came to Illinois for a while to take a break from all the drama.
Ruchika was now damn sure that she was the same woman they were searching for and felt relieved. She further asked her: so are you staying in Illinois now.
Andrea said: No, my dear, that is a very small place. We shifted to Chicago. I have my business all over America now. Ruchika said: Oh that’s great! That means now you are happily settled.
Mrs.Andrea said with a sigh: No not at all. After three years of our marriage, I gave birth to twin girls. These girls came into my life to make my life more miserable. I loved them with all my heart. They knew that after our death everything that we had worked on would be theirs. But it looks like they were in some hurry. I heard them planning my murder so that they could take over all the business. Can you imagine for the property, they planned my murder. With this, she started crying. Without any mistake of mine, I was accused to spoil someone’s family life and my own daughters became my biggest enemies.
She started crying loudly now. Ruchika let her cry for a while. Ruchika hugged Mrs.Andrea and said: Cry, not because you were wrong but because you have been carrying a heavy heart for long. Release it and let go. Sometimes such relations are the result of our past life karma. I would request you to forgive Tom and the girls, please. With time, they will understand your sacrifice and love. She held her tightly in her arms. Andrea could sense warm loving vibes coming from this girl. She stood up and said: Thank you so much. You are an angel. Thank you for listening to me and supporting me. Would you be kind enough to drop me back home, please?
Ruchika desperately wanted her address and this was a great opportunity, but the question was how would she go out.
Andrea saw tension on Ruchika’s face and asked her if there was any problem. She said if you have any reservations its okay I will leave on my own.
Ruchika immediately said: No, no, actually, my husband has gone out and I was wondering what if the hotel people ask me to pay before leaving. Actually, I don’t have money. Andrea laughed and said: you don’t worry about money. This is my Motel. Come, take me home.
Ruchika realized that they were near Chicago and was so happy in her heart. She left a note for Robby in the room that she had found Robinson and was going to drop her home and will be back soon. In her excitement, she forgot her purse and cellphone in the room only and went away with Andrea.
Andrea and Ruchika moved towards a car few yards away. While going towards the car Ruchika saw lots of people gathered around an ambulance. She could also see a body of a woman being taken in it. However, she could not see her face because the mob and media around would not let her do that.
Andrea saw Ruchika looking at the accident. She smiled and said don’t worry about it. You can witness all that on T.V. in a while.
They sat in Andrea’s car to go to her home. Ruchika was looking out of the window car seeing the beauty around. Andrea was looking at Ruchika and told her that she is very beautiful. Ruchika looked at her with a smile and thanked her for the compliment.
Andrea was still sad. Ruchika held her hand and said: I know you are a pure soul. God knows you are a pure soul then why do you cry. This is what life on earth is all about, tears! Love yourself, enjoy your presence and I am sure in time all will be well.
This time Andrea hugged her and said I wish I had a daughter like you. She gave a peck on her forehead. Ruchika recalled her mother and wiped tears from Andrea’s wrinkled skin. She noticed that Andrea’s wrinkles were diminishing. She thought to herself that her mind was again playing games.
Ruchika looked outside to divert her mind. She saw that they were nearing a big house which looked like a beautiful palace. The car went in that house and stopped. They both stepped out from the car.
Andrea told Ruchika that it was late now. Why didn’t Ruchika stayed over for a night and meet Tom in the morning? They were discussing this only when Ruchika heard someone sobbing. She looked and saw an old man was sitting on the stairs and crying.
Andrea held Ruchika’s hand and took her over to that man. She introduced him to Ruchika as her husband Tom. Tom was a very private person when it came to emotions. He looked at Ruchika and wiped his tears off.