Pratigya could not believe that someone could actually be so horrible as to hurt someone the way Angad had when he had hurt Nitin, almost killing him. She did not believe in violence even though she knew that in war it was inescapable and that some very, very bad people were beyond help and the only way to stop them would be either to lock them away in jail (where they might end up the victim of violence, or the perpetrator of it) or to kill them. She did not like to think about things like that – not ever – even though she knew it was something everyone had to think about in their lifetime and make their own mind up on.

When she had finally learnt that it had not been Krishna who had hurt Nitin and kidnapped her, she could not say the relief she had felt. On one hand, she had wanted to laugh – she was so happy for Krishna; he was not the big, bad bully she had made him out to be! - and on the other, she had wanted to cry: this all was just because of something she had done, something that she felt was within her right; Angad had been out of line and she had had half a mind to do what she had. At least, she had thought, if he found out from her that such behaviour was intolerable he might learn something from it and not do it again; it would be a good thing for him as well as for anyone who might potentially end up his victim in future if no one saw fit to put him back into line about his behaviour and set him on the right path.

But it had been the wrong thing to do, even if it had been the right thing; it had only ended up setting in motion a most horrible set of events, leading up to Nitin almost dying and her kidnapping, and ending in Angad's own death and her father and brother, Adarsh, becoming killers.

Of all the scenarios she had imagined, that was not one of them, and now that it was a reality, she knew that it was far worse than she could ever have imagined; her father and brother were going to have to live with knowing that they had taken the life of another person their whole lives, and nobody could ever make it better; not even knowing that they had done it to spare the people they loved from the hands of a deranged maniac could erase the fact that they had killed, she thought.

And now her father – believing it the just and honest thing to do – had handed himself into the authorities as Angad's killer; now her father – her pita – was the one locked away. He did not belong with those people, she thought, he was a good man; he did not deserve to have to be exposed to people like that, the very, very bad ones who did it because they liked hurting other people or were that greedy that they just didn't care or who were too ill to ever help.

She wondered how many people were locked away for crimes that they did not commit, or, in her father's case, how many people were locked up for crimes they had had no choice but to commit.

Do not worry, she told herself silently, good things happen and something good is going to happen now because so many bad things have happened it can only lead to something good happening.

Maybe it was only her own hope lending her such thoughts, but she wasn't about to allow that hope to become a false hope, she decided; she had finally tracked down a lawyer who might be able to help fight for her father's case and bring him home to his family.

The very next thing she would do in the morning, she decided, after waking up, would be to contact the lawyer, Aman Mhathur. Krishna may have believed it was the wrong thing for her to be doing as a married woman to be going against her husband's father in this manner, but Shyam was her father, not Krishna's. All his life and hers, he had fought for her, cared for her and loved her, and now it was her turn – here was a man who truly deserved help, and she was going to give him that. It wasn't even that he was her father, if Krishna was going to go on about that, it was that he really was a good man, and good men deserved respect and support.

But in her heart of hearts, she knew that it made all the difference in the world that he was also her father. In her heart, she knew that she would not stop fighting for him until justice had been seen!


Mann Kee Awaaz Pratigya © Pearl Grey; Spellbound Productions and STAR Plus.