Bold bits are meant to be Hindi. Italics are thoughts.
Chapter 9: Nand Kishore
She gave Logan (jr) a once over and concluded he was heavily drunk. He was still wearing his suit so it made her believe that he had been drinking since yesterday. She had been expecting him but defiantly not in this condition.
She sighed. "What do you want Logan?"
"Why did you cut off my call yesterday?"
"Because I felt like it. Stop being such a girl about it!" She snapped.
Then she realised her mistake. He was very drunk and she was provoking him. He slammed her against the door and took her lips into a fierce kiss but she didn't relent. She pushed him with all her might but he was much stronger drunk. She punched, kicked and slapped him but he wouldn't stop. Then all of a sudden he was ripped from her. She stood dazed from the kiss and watched as Karan threw a strong punch that connected straight with Logan's jaw and he went sprawling across the floor. He looked at Amba and tried to control his breathing. Amba was shocked, she had never seen her father act like that, he was usually calm and collected and tried to handle a situation without violence. He was the modern day Gandhi.
"You can't do that in this house any more Logan. And next time you do that to my daughter without her permission, I'll kill you. I'm letting you off because I know you're drunk and so were we this morning. Go home and get sober, you're useless like this." He then proceeded to drag Logan out of the house and shoved him out the front door.
"Dad?" Amba asked hesitantly.
"Have you completed your assignments?"
"Then help me bring in the cloths I brought for your mum."
He went out the front door and straight to his car. Amba didn't continue, she had learnt not to ask too many questions from a young age, especially about her parents' pasts.
She helped Karan take the cloths to Khushi's room. They were silently removing all of Khushi's western cloths and putting in Khushi's desi cloths when he spoke. "I'm sorry for being so harsh."
"To me or to Logan?"
"Both. I think I should go apologise to him." He started for the door when Amba stopped him.
"No dad, what you did was right. But why so violent?"
"It's just this whole situation and on top of that my work won't let me take some time off until I finish my contract which won't be for another 3-4 weeks. And then the hospital called me-"
Amba's eyes widened with concern. "What?! Is there something wrong with mum?"
"She's been having nightmares again. And she doesn't understand why she keeps having them and I can't even tell her." Karan sat down on the bed and rubbed his face. He was aging by the minute.
"Dad you're not going to tell me the significance of the nightmares, are you?"
"I want to tell you everything, honey. I've wanted to since the day you could understand how messed up the world is but your mum wouldn't let me. She's sacrificed so much so you wouldn't be burdened by her past so you wouldn't have to suffer. I want to tell you but I can't. I've sworn to silence by your mother. But I think it would be better if you knew so when your mother gets better, I'm going to convince her to tell you everything so she can stop running away from her past."
"It's ok dad, I haven't known for 22 years another couple of months won't hurt."
"Let's hope your mother gets better in a few days, forget months." After a pause he continued hesitantly. "Amba, does your mum know about Logan?"
She gave him a confused look. "Why would she know about Logan, she's lost her memory, remember?"
"No I mean about you and Logan."
She rolled her eyes before getting up. "There's nothing to know about me and Logan." Before she could exit the room, Karan grabbed her hand and made her sit back down on the bed.
"Amba, tell me the truth." He said looking into her eyes.
She sighed. "No she doesn't. Dad I promise you it's all casual. We don't have any feelings for each other."
"Oh because that makes everything better!" He said sarcastically. "No dad wants to hear his daughter saying she's only in a 'casual relationship' and there are absolutely 'no feelings' involved. Amba what were you thinking?"
"When did you find out?"
"Answer my question."
"I was stressed with work, so was he. He wanted to drink his stress away, I suggested a better idea."
"Sex was the better idea?!"
"Would you prefer me and him being alcoholics?"
He rubbed his forehead. "Why do you do this to yourself, Amba? What's wrong with a normal healthy relationship?"
"Dad I don't have time to date people, you know how busy I am."
"Your mother would never have agreed if she knew."
"She doesn't need to know. Please dad. We promised to stop after we found out about the wedding."
He threw his hands in the air and pulled his hair in frustration. "I need a drink."
"Don't. We'll deal with this after your mum gets better. Do you realise the consequences of this? Are you being careful?"
"Very careful. Extremely careful. I promise."
He groaned and rubbed his forehead again. "You're going to turn me into an alcoholic."
"You could always-"
"Don't even suggest it!" He warned.
She decided to change the subject. "Dad we still haven't told mum's family about her condition."
Karan groaned and flopped down face first on the bed. Amba winced, she knew how hard this was for him.
"Umm dad," she poked him but he refused to move. "Dad I could call them for you."
He sighed and sat up. "No I'll do it. In fact I'll do it now." He whipped out his mobile and dialled a number, put it on speaker and threw it on the bed. After some time an old but loud voice answered.
"Hai re Nand Kishore! Who is it?"
Karan rolled his eyes. "Namaste Buaji, it's me."
"Arre Karan! How are you? How are Khushi and Amba? How's Nikil? How is he enjoying married life?" Buaji was overjoyed that Karan had called. She hadn't talked to them in a long time.
"Actually Buaji, there's something I need to tell you."
"Hai re Nand Kishore! Is everything alright?"
"Um actually um, Amba!" Exclaimed Karan and pointed at his daughter with a pleading look.
"What about Amba?"
"Yes dad, what about me?" asked Amba with a pointed look.
"Amba would like to talk to you buaji."
"Oh course, how is my favourite grandchild?"
Amba sighed. "I'm ok buaji."
"Speak Hindi! You can understand it but can't speak it. What's wrong with you?" Buaji continued on her rant. Amba mouthed translate to Karan and Karan began translating everything Amba said.
"It was nice talking to you Buaji but da- I mean Karan has something important to tell you." With that she left the room before Karan could stop her.
"What do you need to tell me Nand Kishore?"
"Buaji is Mausaji and Masiji home?"
"Yes they are, why?"
"Gather them around the phone and put it on loud speaker please."
It took Buaji 2 minutes to round everyone up and another 5 minutes for Karan to explain how to put the phone on loud speaker.
"Before I tell you anything, I'd like to say that Khushi is fine. In fact everyone is fine." But hearing this made the Gupta's more nervous than reassured. "Khushi was in an accident but now she's fine." He said quickly. There was a silence before a rush of questions came through the phone. "Please calm down, it's nothing to be worried about she's fine. She just can't remember anything since Payal's first wedding."
"How is that fine!" shrieked Buaji.
"Look, you need to cooperate with me because she thinks she's here on holiday. As soon as she gets better she wants to go back to India."
"Karan you have to stop her from coming back at all costs." Begged Khushi's father.
"Mausaji, I've tried everything but you know how stubborn she is. If she doesn't regain her memory in 3 weeks, we'll have to come to India to see if anything can jog her memory."
"She can't come back, I won't let her be harassed again!"
"Mausaji, please try to understand the situation. She won't have to go near the Riazada's at all."
"How is that possible when they were a really big part of her life? Not to mention they're Payal's in laws. What if her memory comes back by seeing them?" said Garima.
"If seeing you guys won't jog her memory we'll have to go to them."
"No! Absolutely not! I forbid it!" Shouted Shashi.
"Not after everything they made her go through. Karan you can't change my mind on this matter."
Karan sighed. I'll try reasoning with Mausaji another time. "Are you going to tell Payal?"
"We'll have to. She has a right to know, it's her sister." Said Buaji.
"Payal has a right to know!" Buaji stated firmly.
They all knew the consequences of telling Payal. Ever since the Shyam incident, Payal hasn't kept anything from Akash. And if Akash knows then sure enough, somehow Arnav Singh Riazada will find out. And if Arnav finds out… Well no one wanted to find out the consequences of Arnav finding out, there was too much to lose.
"How is Amba handling the situation?" asked Garima.
"She's fine apparently."
"That one is exactly like her mother, always so strong. Karan we trust you to take care of both our girls ok. From now on I want to know how Khushi's doing everyday." Said Shashi.
"Yes of course Mausaji." Then Karan proceeded to tell the Gupta's the lie he had created to protect Khushi. "She's going to want to call you, so make sure you stick to this story. I have to go but I'll call again tomorrow to let you know how Khushi's doing." With that Karan cut the call and went downstairs.
He went into the living room and saw Amba busy on her laptop with the tv blaring in the background.
"What are you doing?" He asked.
"Ordering Hindi language kits. Buaji's right, I should learn how to speak it as well as understand it."
British Airways, First Class
Arnav Singh Riazada was on a plane half way to Dehli. He was working, as usual, when he finally realised where he had seen Amba before.
Delhi, Riazada Mansion
Payal Raizada was busy getting her children ready for school when her mobile rang. Having 5 children meant that she wouldn't be picking up her phone for sometime.
"Krish stop teasing Nandani and eat your breakfast for God's sake!" she yelled trying to pry the twins apart.
"Maa, Chin and Jay and still sleeping." Said Tara as she came down the stairs. She was fully dressed and ready to go.
"You'd think because they're in university they'd wake up by themselves but no! Tara, can you please make sure that these two finish their breakfast and get them ready soon." Payal said and rushed up the stairs.
Tara sighed and started separating her siblings as they got into yet another fight. At the age of 16, she was already the more mature one out of her other 4 siblings.
Payal rushed into her sons' room, ripped the cover off both of them and flung open the curtains.
"Sachin Singh Riazada! Sanjay Singh Riazada! If you two don't get up right now, so help me God, I'll kill both of you!" She screamed.
Hearing their mother shout their full name meant she was well and truly pissed so the twins rushed out of their bed and started getting ready as quickly as they could. Payal left their room massaging her head.
"Hello hi bye bye. Why is you shouting so early in the mornings?!" Asked Mamiji as she came out of her room.
Payal was about to snap at her when Tara came to the rescue.
"Wow Dadi! You're looking so beautiful today. I guess that beauty sleep must really be helping you."
"I know." Mamiji smirked arrogantly.
"You know what Dadi? If you sleep for another hour or two, people won't be able to tell the difference between you and AR's top models."
"Ok but keep the noise down!" She sauntered back into her room and Tara let out a sigh of relief.
By this time Payal has calmed down significantly. "Thank you Tara."
"No problem maa. Ni and Krish have finished their breakfast and are currently getting ready."
"I don't know what I'd do without you."
"Just promise me you won't have any more kids."
"Believe me I won't."
It was another 10 minutes before she got all her children together and sent them off with the driver before she checked her phone. She panicked when she saw the 17 missed calls from her parents' house. She called them back immediately. Someone picked up at the first ring.
"Is Babuji ok? Amma? Buaji?"
"Yes yes Nand Kishore everyone is fine." Replied Buaji.
"Thank Devi Maya, I was so worried. Why did you miss call me so much if everyone is fine?"
"Because your sister's not fine"
Payal froze. She barely talked to her sister these days after what happened in the past but that didn't change the fact that she loved her. "What's happened to Khushi?!"
"She's been in an accident." The Buaji began retelling everything that Karan told her. "Look Payalia, I know Akash is your husband and you have the right to tell him everything but please keep this away from Arnav."
Payal hadn't kept anything from Akash since the incident between Shyam and Khushi had been cleared up. She had been completely honest about everything. But for the first time she wanted to hide this matter from her husband, not because Akash couldn't keep a secret but because Khushi had done everything in her power to ensure Payal's happiness and now she wanted to return the favour.
"Buaji I'll make sure Arnavji never finds out, even if it means hiding this from Akash."
"No Payalia, you have to tell Akash."
"No! Hiding things has always brought misfortune to our family."
"Ok Buaji, just keep me up to date on how Khushi's doing."
"Ok Payalia, take care."
Payal ended the call. She could sense she wasn't alone so she turned around and gasped. There, stood by the entrance, was Arnav Singh Riazada.