I am sorry
In the middle of the flight, Kiara woke up to go to the washroom. When she returned, she was too lazy to push her way into the middle seat. And with Rishaan readily offering to shift seats, the seating arrangement changed. With twenty minutes still remaining for the flight to land, a sleep starved Kiara took another power nap, this time holding Rishaan’s right hand more firmly. Rishaan’s other hand, though, nervously moved to touch Diya’s. Her heart skipped a beat. Diya pulled her hand away. But a defiant Rishaan held her wrist again, this time firmly and more reassuringly. The changing behavioural dynamics between the three perhaps gave out a foreboding of what was to come in Goa.
When the flight landed at the Dabolim Airport, Rishaan felt uncanny…his excitement seemed replaced by an unknown fear that he found very difficult to decipher.
Does she already know? Rishaan’s mind was racing. She couldn’t possibly have, he tried to calm himself down and nudged Kiara gently on her left arm.
Rubbing her eyes Kiara woke up, still yawning. “I am tired” Yawned Kiara as she came out of her stupor.
“Di, did you get the camera?” She asked as she pulled out the curly locks of her face and tied them into a tight bun.
She nodded in affirmative again.
Rishaan tried getting up from his seat.
“It’s okay Rish, we can wait, let everyone get down, there’s no rush.” Kiara looked at him and then threw a sideways glance at the tourists who were visibly excited to have landed at their destination safely. A young couple in casuals and with an oversized multi-belt backpack were grinning at her.
She smiled back.
Keep calm and carry on.
Said in bold on one of their T shirts.
As they waited for the three seats behind them to empty, Diya unmindfully started fiddling with the three boarding cards in her hand. The words seemed to jumble up in her head.
Jet Air ways
All of thirty-two, Kiara was the heart and soul of Kimaya Cosmetics. The hot-shot honcho of the skincare giant had always been a go getter right from her childhood. Brilliant in studies, adept in sports and extra-curricular and extremely popular with boys. She was used to be the cynosure of all eyes wherever she went. After her successful MBA from a top Indian institute (for which she had managed to receive a lucrative scholarship), she had decided to start her own firm rather than following the rat race amongst the corporates. A cheap silver bracelet is far better than a set of golden handcuffs – she had said in one of her inspiring interviews with Times – Indian Women Who matter back in 2013, referring to a high paying corporate job as the latter and her modest start up as the former. When she was toying with potential ideas for her start-up, one particular idea had always managed pop over the rest, that of her mother’s beauty-parlour. Mrs Madhvani, along with her brother and Kiara’s uncle, had successfully managed to establish their beauty-parlour as one of the top-most and sought after services in the small town of Jamshedpur from where they hailed. Mr Madhvani, Kiara’s father worked as a cashier in a local bank. From a very young age, Kiara had understood the value of money and generating it on your own. It was of little surprise when she had zeroed down upon to take her mother’s legacy forward.
“Di, the handbag?”
Diya got up from her seat and made her way out to the aisle. Next to the weary looking Rishaan, Kiara was still yawning and stretching. She rummaged through the rest of the bags in the overhead cabin, which was just four of them and rolled her eyes as she pulled out the brown handles of Kiara’s Gucci bag.
“Sorry Di, just a bit sleepy. What would I do without you!”
Diya just smiled and handed both of them their boarding cards and followed Kiara and Rishaan to the gates as the air hostesses belted out their made up “good bye”s and “thank you”s.
As they reached their grand destination, The Palm Exotica Resorts, Goa, Diya knew how special this weeklong vacation was going to be. They were booked into two adjacent rooms, Kiara and Rishaan in number 1313 and Diya in 1315.
Rishaan however was visibly subdued.
“I thought I was the one who was sleep starved. Kiara pointed out to Rishaan who lay on the sofa lazily in their plush suite. “Are you okay Rish?”
Diya threw a furtive glance at Rishaan whose eyes were half closed but she knew his mind would be working overtime at that very moment. She appeared to admire the décor of the room for a moment and abruptly just smiled and excused herself to her room.
“I am okay baby”, Rishaan finally spoke.
“What is it? I thought you were the one who wanted a break?”
“That’s not it Ki…Have been thinking all along to tell you something…”
“Well I kind of know it…”Kiara chuckled. “In fact, I should have known…”
Rishaan’s frown reached a new high. Could it be…? No not possible.
“I mean, what do you know of? I thought I would tell you about…”
“Okay, enough now.” Kiara broke into a laugh. “Let’s change and head to the restaurant, am starving. “
On the very next room, by a small monitor sat a figure, checking every move of the corporate hot shot Kiara Madhvani and her alleged beau Rishaan Malhotra in the screen in front.
Kiara held his hands and led him to the sprawling bath room, both fully dressed in casuals.
The figure on the next room twitched in the chair in anticipation of what was going to come next.
“I think you need a shower; I definitely need one.” Kiara whispered in Rishaan’s ears.
The figure in front of the screen picked up the phone as it flashed and started staring at something.
A face that made me go weak in my knees. A smile that melted my heart. Ex model, divorcee, owner of the Sculptor Gym and health club chain and the man I fell in love with. I knew you were taken, but I just couldn’t stop myself. I still remember that evening that changed everything.
You were in the shower. All by your gorgeous self. When I came in, I could almost hear your humming. I didn’t know you would be alone and little did I know what surprise awaited me.
And then I heard the voice I loved so much. The voice that kept me awake so many nights. I heard that voice calling out.
“Is that you baby?” You had asked.
“I have to tell you something.”
I couldn’t utter a word. I never did. Especially with you around, I always went speechless.
As the shower head burst into life, drenched in their clothes Kiara moved closer to Rishaan and put her finger on his lips.
“Just don’t say a word. I know what you are up to.”
“Kiara !” You called out as if to check if it was her or not.
I thought you would call my name instead, but you didn’t. But what you didn’t know was it hardly mattered to me anymore. I was already at the bathroom door looking at your silhouette moving towards me through the glass door. Realising what I was doing, I was about to step outside your room leaving no trace of my presence there a second ago.
“Ki, I must, please let me..”
“I know already Rish.”
You had held me from my back in your wet hands. I was dazed. Your wet hands as if left a blazing mark on my arms. What followed then was stuff I had dreamt of yet scared to admit to myself. “I am sorry.” You had tried to reason the burst of passion that was soon engulfing us both in its clutch. In your sorry I found my answers. In your embrace I had melted.
“I thought I can do this, but I can’t. Forgive me, Ki ..”
“What? Speak up Rish !”
“I am really sorry. But I had waited for you for so long.” My lips had touched yours one more time as you said that and at that very moment as if time had stopped.
That evening you became mine. My world of silence found its song. I lost myself and found you. Only that I knew I was sharing you. And that feeling slowly started eating me from inside. Every time the bitch went out with you my heart sank. Every time you professed your love to her, my insides burnt. With each moment of her togetherness with my love, the bitch was winning, like all the time she had been. I got your body and possibly a part of your heart, but I knew you were still not fully mine. A part of you still remained aloof, undiscovered, unconquered.
I knew very well; it was just a matter of time. And it was not that long a wait.
It was going to be her 33rd birthday celebrations in Goa. And we knew the inevitable would happen. You took me in this path. You convinced me of the plan. Sweet, simple, uncomplicated.
On her birthday night, like every night before her night bath when she takes her medicines, you would change just one thing – just give her two doses higher than normal. Amitryptline would do the rest. It won’t take long.
Yes, let me disclose the secret to her unsuspecting admirers, Kiara Madhvani, the corporate honcho, needs anti-depressant drugs for her daily normal functioning.
Once she was positively unconscious, tipping her into an ice cold bath tub would be the easiest thing to do. A job well done and the world shall regret the untimely yet inevitable demise of Ms Madhvani owing to drug abuse. A necessary merger would happen, making you a few millions richer.
And hungrier than before.
In your secret, I found mine. In your insecurities I felt secured and comforted. I knew you never loved that bitch, all you wanted is to take over her business empire. Our business empire. You had the looks, but more than that you certainly had the brains.
Why am I writing this to you, you may ask. Why am I putting words to the unspoken feelings we harboured all these months? I had to. I was left with no options Rishaan. However unusual our relationship has been I have always valued you more than anybody else. It may seem taboo to the society, but trust me, I have seen worse.
I trusted you with my life. I knew you won’t let me down like the only two other men I had once loved.
I trusted you Rish!
It’s not what you are thinking Ki. Not me. It’s her, she has been plotting this all along!
You were no different Rishaan. You pulled me into your treacherous plan and I just followed your words like an impressionable teenager. The teenager that still lives in me, the teenager that refuses to grow up in my heart.
That gawky and awkward teenager that I have been all along. Bullied at school for my looks, side-lined at home for the lack of my voice. Except for the two men who I knew loved me.
Dad, who loved me for who I was, listened to my unspoken words, treated me no different than a friend.
And my uncle, who stayed with us at our home and spent much of his time at home taking care of me when nobody was around. What he did to me only I knew and I also knew no one would ever believe if I ever spoke against him.
When one afternoon I did try to speak to Dad with tears in my eyes, he, for what I didn’t know turned a deaf ear.
And I thought I was the only one who couldn’t speak. But the truth was that everybody, in what I called my home, including my mother and sister, were plain blind, deaf and mute.
I had to live with my secret, my tears, my pain. That was all I have which none of them had. I knew this would make me special.
Special in my own way, just like my younger sister who I loathed for everything she had and for everything I could never have.
The bitch, how I had hated her. Yet she took care of me like she was my elder sister. Taking me along with her after we lost both Mom and Dad. Making me her confidante and an important part of the business empire she built all on her own. With every favour she bestowed upon me, my hatred grew a little more. For her, for my own helpless self.
Until I met Rishaan Malhotra. I wanted the same man she had chosen. Or she was made to choose by him, as I know now of your motives. One is deaf and mute and the other is unmarried and lonely. Quite an easy task for you, you would have thought, to trap and destroy the sisters with your charm and malice.
You used me when you needed and made sure I never complain. For somewhere I myself was guilty of my own thoughts about my own sister, and of course her partner.
I just want to let you know today, I won’t let you have that pleasure. You abused me, my body, my mind. In return I am giving this to you.
I may have hated her all my life, but if there’s any one way I could repay her for everything that she ever did for me and free myself, it was this.
She knows now. She knows now what you did to me, she knows what ulterior motives you harbour for her and her business empire.
Doesn’t matter if she discovers about me and my long borne hatred in the process, what matters is she would know and save her life from vultures like you. That’s the least I could do for her. After all she is my little sister, no matter how much I deny this fact in my heart.
She is better off lonely than be surrounded by vultures like you and double-faced cowards like me.
Hope you rot in the same hell that took my uncle away.
Peace and love,
PS : Di loves you Kiara, Di just hasn’t been the best of sisters. Hope you forgive me one day.
“How dare you speak a word against my sister? I just wanted to see your true face once before I hand you over to the Police. Five years? How could you do this to me?” Kiara was on the verge of a breakdown.
“Trust me Ki, you have got this all wrong. I am not denying what I have done to her but this..” Rishaan started feeling numb under the pouring water over his head, holding Kiara by her arms.
But it was too late.
Kiara’s hand rose in a fleeting moment of rage to slap the man who had betrayed her and her sister.
“You son of a..”
Bitch. Who could wait till your birthday night which is still two days to go? Just two dose higher than normal. Amitryptline would do the rest. It won’t take long. Diya grinned as her hand grovelled inside her bag to take out the shotgun.
With that, Kiara went unconscious and fell into the ice cold bath with a splash, her head hitting the sides of the tub and her legs twisted and half immersed in the water.
The uniformed figure in the adjacent room 1311, Inspector of Goa Police, Mr Shapurkar finished reading the long email which was CCed to Kiara Madhvani and addressed Rishaan Malhotra. On the request of the CEO of Kimaya Cosmetics, her fiancé’s email and social media handles were under strict surveillance. A worried Ms Madhvani had especially requested his every move, including their vacation to be closely monitored as there was potential danger to her and sister’s life and a corporate sabotage was being planned by the head of Sculptor Health Club chain. Before he could completely digest all that was written in the email, his eyes shifted to the imminent situation which was happening in the shower room of room 1313. There was no time to lose, talking loudly to the phone the inspector ran from the adjacent room making his way to capture the criminal on charge of planned murder who stood dazed and speechless under the shower.
“Mhatre, room 1315 !”
Yes, sir, said the khaki clad policeman, following his superior’s orders rushed into room number 1315. On the bed sat Kiara’s elder sister, deaf and mute Managing director of Kimaya Cosmetics, Diya Madhvani with a shotgun pointed to her head, tears rolling down her cheeks as if waiting for the right moment to shoot herself. Her phone lay next to her, on which she had been frantically typing minutes ago her last resort to mend the mess three of them were in, in an email titled, “I am Sorry”.
Kiara breathed her last in that ice cold bath tub as the inspector opened the door and rushed in.
PS: This was supposed to be my entry for TOI write in monthly challenge to Tuhin A Sinha’s prompt which I missed the deadline for. The first few lines of this story are from Tuhin A Sharma , reproduced as below:
“In the middle of the flight, Kiara woke up to go to the washroom. When she returned, she was too lazy to push her way into the middle seat. And with Rishaan readily offering to shift seats, the seating arrangement changed. With 20 minutes still remaining for the flight to land, a sleep starved Kiara took another power nap, this time holding Rishaan’s right hand more firmly. Rishaan’s other hand, though, nervously moved to touch Diya’s. Her heart skipped a beat. Diya pulled her hand away. But a defiant Rishaan held her wrist again, this time firmly and more reassuringly. The changing behavioral dynamics between the three perhaps gave out a foreboding of what was to come in Goa.
When the flight landed at the Dabolim Airport, Rishaan felt uncanny…his excitement seemed replaced by an unknown fear that he found very difficult to decipher. “
© “And Life Unfolds” and Subhendu Mohanty, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Subhendu Mohanty and “And Life Unfolds” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.