Finding Anamika Somewhere

Part 1

A gal named Anamika, her 3 guy friends. All spoiled brats from wealthy families, though good in academics. Met first time when she got into the college basketball team. She loved being in their company even though they were senior to her. Anamika chummiest pal Sameer had trouble with his parents, since they never had time for him. They were busy expanding their business prospects. Sameer’s dadi was his best friend, and though he was a brat he was sincere and kind enough before her and loved talking and sharing about himself before her. She guided him, taught him the rights and wrongs. Sameer’s had his troubles – drugs, boozing, and cigarettes. But Anamika tuned his life. Along with Anamika came Neha, a love at first sight. Anamika got to know about Sameer’s interest for Neha as he would always end up popping at places Neha went, and Neha too felt this hunk guy seemed to be perfect. So one afternoon Anamika got both of them talking, and now they are engaged all with dadi’s permission. Dadi loves Neha.

Anamika’s second chummiest pal Rohan doing his architect job in NY. Well furnished cottage and staying all alone coz he hasn’t a gf as yet.

Anamika’s third best pal Raghav in Mumbai along with Anamika and Sameer into his software business with dad.

What’s common between Anamika, Rohan, Sameer, Raghav – nothing and everything. All of them were into drugs and out of it. But Anamika never came out. Her life was always freaky, living on the edge with overdoses. She knew she was adopted, coz each time it was screamed into her ears by the oldest to the youngest member of the Malhotra family. She hated Rohit to the core, Rohit her older bro sharing same parents – older to her by 9 years. Anamika didn’t get much to see about him. And when she did, she refused to talk or acknowledge. She despised Shalini visiting their places and Rohit spending time with her. She got into trouble many a times coz of Shalini’s word and then she was on one side and whole of Malhotra’s family on the other.

Anamika loved biking on Sameer’s pulsar. The speed always enthralled her. She used to get high on alcohol and drugs even at her room during functions and close her room and give Raghav missed calls. And then Sameer would know something wrong has happened. It was one such family get together day 3 years back, Anamika was high on alcohol and crying in her room. Sameer was there with Raghav in his Esteem to rescue her. He climbed the tree leading to Anamika’s room balcony. When he got her down all he could here were screaming and shouting Malhotra family. That day he heard it himself why Anamika wished never to return to this place, why she loathed everyone, why she felt she was in heaven when on drugs. Anamika was seen drinking and all the accusations and dirty secrets started pouring in:

Anamika was adopted and that was the family’s biggest mistake. They should have let her be done with instead of being considerate. And there Sheela was silent, Anamika’s mom as of now. It was Sheela’s favourite housemaid Chaya who was beaten black blue 23 years back by her fiancé who got her pregnant and then left her to die. There was born this fragile gal with no one immediate to look for. And Sheela wanted a daughter after Rohit. So despite the Malhotra family’s  BIG NO she went ahead and adopted her. 23 years and Anamika is still listening to the fact she is of bad blood. Not a Malhotra and some dirty creep. From 5 year old nieces to 50 year old aunt’s all have things to tell Anamika, ‘she should be thankful she was given shelter and give things in return, the best being leave’. Sameer got so mad he broke the chandelier he could see when he was getting down and carried Anamika to his car with Raghav starting the engines. Sameer on his way back got to hear, ‘you filthy boy as filthy as her, never come back out here’. Then Anamika was very seriously ill, with dadi taking care of all the expenses. Sameer and Neha couldn’t stop crying. Rohan came from Australia to be by her side. She recovered in 2 months time but scars were there forever and now Sameer, Rohan, Neha, Dadi and Raghav; all bore them.

Two months back as of today Anamika is very excited and tensely glancing at her pic on her computer for today she and her net friend called AngelEyes are going to exchange their pics after all the chatting and calling they did on private numbers since past 2 years. Its 10 pm, Malhotra’s are busy in their social lives like all business hogs. AngelEyes signs in and greets Angel [Anamika] with the usual tones they do in. 5 mins of talking and AngelEyes and Angel both are ready to send their pics online.

Part – 2

Angel had met AngelEyes coz of the similarity in the id’s. They gotten close and spoke of everything without taking names. Neither did they reveal their true names. All they knew both of them were from Mumbai, and 2 months later AngelEyes coming to India from UK for some personal work and when they’ll be meeting Angel will adorn herself with a majenta pink and blue salwar kurti, even if it looks weird coz that’s the colour they decided, and she would wave a yellow scarf. AngelEyes would wave a green scarf. So the promises are made and the pics are loading. 50%…..80%….90%…98%…100% Both of them all set to open, and they did. It was 10:25 pm then, not a word from AngelEyes or Angel. Angel left her pc and messenger as it is and went and got a sip of 3 spasmoproxy’s. She closed the lights and tried sleeping but couldn’t. She popped in some more of spasmo’s.

There on the other end AngelEyes cancelled the lunch he was to have with Kamini, Chris, Kevin, Grace and Shashi.

Resultant of 7 spasmo’s Anamika got up around 12 mid day. Her eyes were all puffed up and swollen with all the crying previous night. Sameer had been desparately calling to know about yesterday’s exchanges. She got up and went in the shower and cried like never before. By 2 she was down in the living room, got the keys to her car and went straight to marine drive where Raghav was waiting. Sameer came by shortly and was hugging Anamika all over. Raghav and Sameer noticed the swollen eyes and searched her bag. There they found a printed not so good but clear version of AngelEyes. Tears rolled down Sameer’s eyes as well as Raghav’s. Anamika held Sameer tightly and together they went for biking, and all the while Anamika cried at Sameer’s shoulder. Together they fagged with a promise of not letting Neha know Sameer did.

Days went by Angel used to login but in invisible mode and keep staring at the screen and after an hour or two would switch off and cry endlessly into the night.

4 days before as of today’s date marriage of Sneha at Malhotra’s. Anamika’s bade papa’s daughter. Everyone’s having a gala time and so was Anamika fagging, sniffing and boozing. There’s too much of excitement in the house every relative from all parts of the globe are coming home and everyone’s going to share the space with special arrangements. And everyone is ready as well not to spare Anamika with their small and big taunts. Sameer’s and Raghav’s and Neha’s calls and places are the ultimate rest rooms and hidden Hawaiian experiences. Sheela’s happy as well, Rohit is coming home after brief 4 years. Earlier they met at places like Delhi or Amsterdam for short periods during official business’s cutout for convenience. And with Rohit, his 4 friends are coming. One more couldn’t coz of some urgency. Everywhere there are screams; cook the gajar halwa soon. Rohit’s arriving in 30 mins.

Anamika meanwhile is busy smoking cig after cig in her bathroom and applying kajal, washing it off, smoking and applying another layer. At a distance i.e. downstairs she can hear sangeet and mehendi function going on. And the screams by none other than Vaishali who’s so excited with Rohit’s homecoming that when her chachu reaches home, the 6 year old is running all over the place.

Part – 3

Rohit’s home, washed and had lunch, and his friends and he are busy with the huge crowd and peeking at the mehendi on people. Anamika is all dressed up for the day after smoking nearly a pack of cig’s. There she comes down the hallway and stands at the staircase showing the living room where the buzz is. Suddenly there’s a huge laughter sound. All Anamika could see was everyone pointing at her and laughing away to glory. And there was Maahi bua who said you luking like a chamar. But Anamika was not interested, she kept staring ahead with tears flowing and smudging her kajol. And there was Kirti di who said aloud, you filthy girl all dressed up in the ridiculous combination majenta pink and blue salvar kurti and yellow scarf tied on the wrist as if going for a mujra, truly showcasing the filthy background she’s from. That was enough for Anamika, she stood there for whole 15 minutes with people mocking at her, all the Malhotra’s; and she ran back to her room and bolted it. Anamika rummaged through her cupboard, threw out all the clothes and started sniffing the white powder she got herself from Aman. 30 minutes and she was on the floor sniffing the powder and ignoring Sameer’s miss calls. 30 minutes more and Sameer and Raghav came for their princess. Went right in between of the extended Malhotra’s to the lawn and the tree which led to Anamika’s room. Got a brick and broke the window amidst all the shouts and rascal calls and threats to call the police. Raghav unbolted the window, then both of them got in and saw Anamika on the floor all a strew. Sameer was all in a fit seeing the amount of powder and called Aman immediately, you bloody @##$$#, if anything happens to Anamika, man Aman you are screwed for life. I will get you behind the bars. 2 more calls by Sameer and Raghav, and Sameer carried Anamika down to the living room and out to his car the way she was, meanwhile Raghav cleaned the room, got the powder tucked in the bag along with some clothes. The whole of Malhotra’s witnessing the fall of it all and that too in the mehendi rasam before all the guests. The blood shot eyes of Sameer glanced everywhere and he spit on the floor when it met with the eyes. There came Rohit after a while, when the car was pulling off. Raghav applied the brakes and yelled: “hey the secrets no more, everyone knows and says: Anamika’s adopted and filthy, so you too better believe it. Go and ask your parents about this filthy blood that has stained Malhotra’s for 23 years.”

Anamika was droven to Neha’s dads clinic and dadi was there with the amount they needed for docs to remove the overdose. On the bed Sameer saw Anamika all pale and lifeless. Neha was standing by his side and whispered she’s messaged Rohan about the situation. Sameer asked to be left alone while Raghav went for medicines. Quietly he touched Anamika’s forehead and kissed her there. Tears fell and he swore he wouldn’t let it all happen again. No matter what now its time his parents give him something and that would be a court custody of Anamika to dadi if he is not considered adult enough or get Neha’s Chachu’s help. It wouldn’t make much of difference to Malhotra’s as long as it is hushed up and for the nosy people around it can always be clarified as Anamika’s education.

2 days before as of  today Anamika is brought home at Sameer’s place. His apartment is housing Raghav, Neha, Dadi, Anamika and Rohan when he’s back. Anamika is terminally ill with the overdose showing very little responses. Most of the times she’s unconscious. Her frail body is taking in too strong medicines to fight out the damage she’s done to herself. Raghav’s cursing himself why he asked Anamika 3 years back to try the powder they were sniffing, all just for fun and challenging her. The SARR apartment is dull and dark with the pains crawling all over the place. Anamika is on glucose and doesn’t even feel a thing when she’s washed by Neha or fed by Sameer or caressed by Dadi. Mehul calls up Neha, and in a hurried tone she goes and speaks to Sameer. Sameer is all in a burst and shouting. With the commotion Raghav and Dadi come to investigate and find Neha shaken up. Dadi takes the phone and speaks to Mehul and says everyone is ready by 5 pm and Mehul shouldn’t be late. Sameer protests but dadi assures nothing will happen out of place. Let a chance be given to see their viewpoint. Sameer sulks and apologises to Neha, gives her a hug and returns back to Anamika.

Its 5:15 pm Anamika is still unconscious, Sameer strokes her hair n walks out to the living room where Raghav and Dadi are seated at one end of the sofa, Neha on the Diwan awaiting Sameer. Mehul stands upright seeing Sameer and waves a goodbye and asks to be given a miss call when they are done wid. Opposite to Neha are seated 5 people, 2 Indians and 3 Whites.

Its 5:35 pm and the room is quiet, no one utters a word and Neha finds the scenario very tense n moves out to quench her thirst even while she hasn’t spoken a word. Kamini as she introduced herself makes the call “Neha please be seated, I guess no one would require much of liquids as no talking is being done.”

Part – 4

Neha reluctantly seats herself next to Sameer and feels the hotness in his composure. Rohit clears his throat and begins “I don’t know much of you guys but you must be really very close to bring her home” and looking at Sameer he says “As I gather you are Sameer coz some S was very close to Angel”. Sameer bursts suddenly and in outrage yells “Hey you don’t utter anything about Angel. I don’t want to hear a single word about it. Have heard too much of AngelEyes and the stupid stuff around it. Ohh and now you talk of Angel. What were you doing when she was there adorned with those silly colour combinations. Ohh I forgot you’re just another Malhotra. Didn’t you hear she’s a filth staining Malhotra’s for 23 years. Let me make it very clear, am not taking any more of this nonsense. Opening my cards I am going for court custody of Anamika and let me see who stops me.”

Neha stretched to hold Sameers hand and pulled him to where she was sitting. She could feel the burning sensation, but didn’t let go her hand off him. He too was clenching her hand tightly.

10 more minutes of complete silence and Dadi cleared her throat and said “Rohit why are you here? Please make the clarifications you want to the sooner the better. It’s not helping much, the stares and growls. We don’t want to waste much of time over nothing. As for Anamika’s custody, we’ll talk later about it, but its high time she requires a new place and I’m with Sameer on that decision.”

Rohit clears his throat again, while Chris shifts his position. “Two months back AngelEyes and Angel were all set to exchange their pics. It was a new kind of relationship for AngelEyes as before he had always disclosed his identity within matter of days; but this time AngelEyes had to wait till Angel was ready. In the 2 year process AngelEyes felt wonderfully connected with Angel, shared almost his whole life, and discussed his friends and family, but Angel never spoke about her family. Among friends too Angel took initials and insisted on doing so. Angel took time to get the trust she wanted from AngelEyes and started divulging about herself. Each day 5 past 10 pm Indian time, both would eagerly switch on their pc’s and would be connected for hours together. AngelEyes called Angel on private numbers too.” Raghav interrupted “It was his number that got the calls.” Rohit continued “The relation grew and Angel started talking about Devil someone she hated badly – her brother and how she’d loathed on Lini. AngelEyes too spoke about his family and disturbed matters within which he wasn’t aware of ever and no one told him. AngelEyes spoke about anonymous and how he was unconcerned about anonymous. AngelEyes’s 5 friends Kamini, Kevin, Chris, Shashi and Grace were updated everyday about any new development. The relation was perfect with advice giving sessions, the councelling, the laughter, the sing-a-songs. One thing was missing and that was the crying and tears. That too arrived 2 months back when AngelEyes and Angel exchanged pics. AngelEyes was shocked to the core to find Angel was none other than Anonymous.”

Rohit continued “I was shocked and didn’t know how to respond. Simply sat and stared at the picture for hours together. Had no idea what must be transpiring at the other end. Finally after 2 hours of staring, got up and called Kamini. Kamini, Chris, Kevin, Grace and Shashi all by my side, everyone was so excited to know the series of events. I had to coax myself to tell them Angel was my sister. And I wondered at God’s play of work – here I talk to some girl from India for 2 years completely as strangers w.r.t identity, and completely as known folks for other matters, and there she is anonymous the other Malhotra who’s been kind of invisible for me for years. Lonely I had cried and sulked. Each day I used to login with the hope Angel would come and talk with me like early days. Each day I used to write something and erase it all. Each day I used to think was Angel thinking about me. Each day I used to think was Angel smoking and boozing. Every day I felt like calling home and asking for anonymous, but changed my mind wondering how others would react. I felt when will I reach Mumbai and stretch my arms to find Angel by my side. I wondered what Angel must have been thinking after seeing me. Would she hate the Devil more or would she love AngelEyes.”

Everybody was silent, and the stillness was interrupted by a phone call. Neha was up already as if she had sensed, and it didn’t take much of promptness from her end to vanish. She was back within 5 mins and placed herself next to Sameer. The tranquility still persisted. Chris cleared his throat as if wanting to add some bit, but the clearance ended just there. Raghav’s eye’s looked bloodshot and in his heavy voice he said “So what do we gather from whatever you said? I think you’re wasting your time out here. There’s a marriage at your place, you are needed out there.”

Part – 5

The statement from Raghav didn’t deter them from being still seated out there. What followed was more of silence and more of uncomfortable shifts and twitches. In a soft tone Rohit said, “I want to talk with Angel, but this time it would be to discover someone who has been lost for the past 2 decades”

The moment Rohit uttered, Sameer hit the ceiling “Where were you for 2 decades? All of a sudden what makes your think of such a great decision? To make it very clear no Angel exists and never try getting close to Angel. What do you know of Angel besides 2 hours of chatting everyday with her, where she didn’t talk much of herself? So you want to see the real Angel right, come I’ll show you how ugly she is.”

Sameer was already up in rage and was burning wherever he could be touched. Raghav, Dadi and Neha were all taken by surprise, so were the rest of the people the other end. The hollow looks on everyone’s face didn’t leave Sameer from not throwing another tantrum out of rage. Neha could see him fretting, but before anyone could say something to easen the atmosphere, Dadi declared aloud “Sameer take these people inside if all of them wish too, for they must know the ugly her.” Neha looked on dumb towards Dadi, but soon gained her composure coz Dadi was glistening, as if some thought had struck her.

There in the room, someone was curled up among blankets. The blankets looked huge and a small frail body in between seemed like not existing. The spring hair, as Rohan used to tease, was strewn all over the pillow, and there Anamika lied numb and white. Neha declared “A small ghost!!” Sameer went closer and sat on her side and started stroking her hair. At that moment it looked as if Sameer was never angry, nor did he ever scream in fury. The serenity on his face glistened the moment he saw her. No one made a sound, even while calling Rohit all Sameer did was point at him and curl his finger upwards. All the while the others remained where they were; at the threshold of the room. Sameer didn’t ask him to be seated so he was standing and peeping. What he saw next was completely horrendous; his Angel was white and sleeping peacefully. Her closed eyes still showed signs of the bloodshot red it must have been. She perfectly looked overdosed with something he didn’t know off. Rohit motioned towards her and muttered “what was she on?” Sameer replied without looking up “drugs” and motioned Neha to come up and whispered something to her. She conveyed the message to Rohit and there Sameer was all alone in the room staring at Anamika. He called upon Dadi and told her about his fears of not wanting to loose Anamika in the hands of these people who know nothing about her, and the insecurity he was sensing about himself and her. Neha and Raghav joined in, Neha declaring Rohan will be in SARR apartment by 2 am tonight. Sameer heaved a long sigh and said “Anamika is their’s, no matter what these people say, we won’t handover her to them; otherwise she’ll end up doing the same thing to herself again. And I have this insecurity creeping in within myself, she’s our daughter and I would like she remains so forever.” The end of this statement brought tears in everyone’s eyes. Sameer held Anamika’s hand and sobbed like a small kid with his doll. Dadi placed her hand on Sameer’s head, brought in Raghav and Neha closer forming a small circle and said “We’ll give them one more chance to see her when she’s conscious” The defiance showed on everyone’s face, but Dadi’s smile prevailed.

Part – 6

Sunday a week later of today, Rohan was busy musing Anamika with his cookery styles while Raghav looked on and commenting “Anamika just beware of what he makes, some sources have told me his food can  kill even ants” which was followed by a roar of laughter from all corners of the SARR apartment. Neha simply stood at the balcony and looked on to Anamika who was smiling as if nothing’s happened with her from the past 10 odd days. Anamika was briefed a day before as to Rohit wanting to see her. Her face was stone white since past ten days, and no twitch of muscles showed either. It looked as if she didn’t hear what was just told to her. She gazed at something others couldn’t see infinitely. Neha struggled to live upto the silence in the mood. The others found it equally uncomfortable. Rohan hugged Anamika hard and took her along with him for a biking session. She was back all happy and giggling. It looked nothing less than a small girl happy going around, just that Anamika was 23 and the drugs she’d taken had distorted her beautiful face. Yet she giggled each time her eyes met Rohan’s which would give a hint of some mischief being done. The pink candy floss she was having messing it all over her hands and lips. Crackling on the poor jokes which she was never devoid of, with Raghav and Sameer. Neha looked on towards this 23 year old baby of SARR apartment. And Dadi gave big grins to each one. Everything looked so happy and beautiful, but the pain pierced hard.

Rohit’s come along with Kamini, Chris, Kevin, and Grace. All five of them looked very inseparable; however it was something like Angel’s people and AngelEye’s people. Normalcy seemed to be picking up in the room. All were placed at the rug by the wall next to the fireplace with blankets to warm them. The interiors gave a very warm feeling, with the fireplace lit, dark clouds forming in the sky, hence the little wee bit of light of the sunset being prevented from reaching into the rooms; but the hearts were very cold. AngelEyes was all ready, but Angel was nowhere to be seen. Without her this meet seemed no worse than the last one. The room started getting tenser and Kamini made the call for Angel. Nevertheless before she could complete, Angel came into the room and snuggled in between Sameer and Rohan. Her appearance was nothing less than a wild ghost walking in the baby blue night dress. Anamika didn’t bother to greet anyone of them nor did anyone prompt her too. Among the astray wavy hair all over her shoulders and her face, she glanced up and directed her sight to where she wanted. The look was very cold, with narrow black eyes minus any expression on the face. Chris thought she looked nothing less than a vampire on a hunt. As soon as it met she dropped her eyes back and concentrated on snuggling closer to Rohan and she rested her head on Rohans shoulder. Kevin and Grace who hadn’t uttered anything so far came in together, with Kevin later deciding to let Grace go for it. Grace began “Hi Angel, how are you doing?” Rohan corrected Grace “she’s Anamika!” Grace started all over again “Anamika so how you doing lady?” Everyone looked on towards Anamika to say something. But it seemed she was engaged in some other thought coz she kept staring everybody skeptically. Rohan stroked her hair, got closer and whispered something to her. Anamika began “I’m fine, thank you” with a good educated accent. The moment she uttered the four words Rohit stirred and it looked as if suddenly all his senses were roused. Dadi had figured out it would be a tough session for Rohit to put something across and get a response from Anamika, so did the SARR apartment occupants. Nevertheless she gave each one an assuring look as to nothing would turn ugly. Neha too had immense faith in all the three blokes’ coz whenever Anamika’s around they never go wild or hell breaks loose even when they are having volcanic eruptions within. They love her far too much to not let things go ugly.

Rohan stroked her hair and rested his head over hers, whispering. Neha looked on with tears in her eyes. It looked nothing less than Rohan with his kid, alike to what it looked when she was with Raghav or Sameer. A smile crossed Neha’s face with a thought ‘All these 3 blokes would end up being very good fathers’ Her thought process was permanently broken when she glanced around and saw each of Rohit’s people staring towards Anamika’s end as though they too were having similar ideas. Then a message in Neha’s cell further broke her thoughts, Sameer had messaged “Am loving what’s going around here. And I can sense some elating feeling within all of us, coz definitely the guy is jealous.” Neha looked up at Sameer at caught one of his naughty mysterious smiles. Raghav broke the mesmerizing moment with clearing his throat and coaxing Rohit to begin with what he wants to tell. Rohit gave a long pause, looked at his watch, drank water and meanwhile Raghav filled the gap asking Rohit “Do your parents have any clue what you upto, and your whereabouts?” Raghav’s question sounded as if he were a teacher questioning his pupil, whereas here it was a 32 year old guy. Rohit began “Anamika how are you doing”. There was silence in the air. Rohit continued “You still look very ill and weak.” Rohit had prepared what all he would talk, but at this moment his preparation seemed to fall very short of every word. Angel was sitting right in front of him, everything from within held his throat, words were not coming out.

Part – 7

Rohit was thinking “Angel was very clearly listening to him but showed little response. She was being protected by her people who were people outside her family. It was supposed to be me who had to protect her. But today I mean nothing to her, not even one bit of her soul longs to be with me. Why am I feeling jealous of Rohan caressing her? Why is it hurting me so hard? Why, when I haven’t seen anything about her since years? Why, when I wasn’t there when she grew up? Why, when I was no where around to shout at people when they called her filthy? Why, when she hated to being among Malhotra’s she had no escape route? Why, when she wanted to cry, instead of me, Sameer was there to hug her tight? Why, she came in and walked to snuggle in between Rohan and Sameer, instead of coming for me? Why, Rohan Sameer and Raghav seem to be the closest people to her? Why, when Angel’s around, Sameer is not going wild like he did the other day? Why I keep thinking of Angel, even when I know Anamika and my Angel are the same? Why, I don’t have a face to go and hold her hands and give her a huge hug? Why, that day she was dressed in my decided colours, majenta pink and blue salvar kurti and yellow scarf tied on the wrist; something from within didn’t let me stretch my arms for her as I had promised? Why, I felt restricted to even move, leave alone protesting her being insulted? Why, I smiled and was party to what Mahi buaa said after she rushed back to her? Why, I have no answer to her stares? Why, my preparation is not working out here, whereas people back in UK call me a very good orator? Why, I don’t know what I am doing here with nothing to express myself? Do I have any reason for being here? What do I ultimately want, Angel / Anamika back in my life, on the PC or truly in my life? What could I do to love her more than Sameer, Rohan and Raghav did; so that she forgets them? Am I not sounding too selfish, especially when I have seen nothing about her, and they have almost lived like a life together and got her out of the death bed? Is it I have a soft feeling towards Angel, and find it hard to believe she’s Anamika; and I wanted to tell Angel that day before we exchanged pics that I loved her ways, but thought otherwise? Is it wrong I love Anamika, coz it’s just the name that changed and not her? Why can’t I love Anamika, coz I hated or was not bothered about her since past 2 decades?” These moments seemed forever and Rohits questions never ended. His thoughts were snapped when he saw Sameer had locked his eyes to his. Rohit glanced at the watch and realized it had been 30 mins into his thinking, and Kevin, Chris and Raghav were into talking something very gravely. Kamini was trying to fill Neha. Rohan was on a call. Angel was now snuggling next to Sameer, holding him tight around his waist as if she never wanted to let him go. Sameer too looked like Anamika’s dad stroking her hair. Sameer spoke to Rohit “you were introspecting yourself, thinking why you are here, and you have no words to talk about?” Rohit was taken aback and startled with what Sameer just said. Rohit thought he just saw a sly smile on Sameer’s face and kept wondering “Oh no it seems Sameer’s read my mind” Sameer continued in a comforting tone “while you were busy, your friends got into talking with Anamika’s; so nevermind your friends trying to fill up something from their end. But things won’t really work unless you do the talking. You can still think as to what? But its ultimately you who needs to tell why you’re here and what you want to talk” Rohit thought “Sameer didn’t seem so peaceful before” But what caught his eyes was Anamika falling asleep in Sameer’s lap. Rohan ended his call, came back and checked her out and planting a kiss on her forehead and holding her hand and warming it up with his. Neha came in a while; from somewhere inside the room, handing over the line to Rohan and giving one glance at Anamika and stroking her hair. Dadi declared Anamika is still very weak, so falls asleep within 40-50 mins every two hours, and will be awake in another 10-15 mins.

Rohit cleared his throat, but this time he didn’t go wandering in his thoughts. He gave a glance to everyone in the room. Saw Sameer and Anamika sitting very close to each other, Sameer hugging her from behind, and she fidgeting with Rohan’s kurta. Rohit began “I have no right to be here, I am not worthy of even apologizing. Anamika if you permit me for once I would like to address you as Angel” Anamika looked on at Raghav, Rohan and clenched Sameers hand, they gave her a nod; and so did she too to Rohit. Rohit continued “ Angel I thought before we’d exchange our pics I would tell you I loved your ways, indirectly speaking I loved you; but thought otherwise so kept it to myself. Then we exchanged pictures and that was the end to AngelEyes and Angel. How I wished you would come online everyday after that day. I used to write things and erase it off, coz I knew you would never read them again. But I missed talking to you badly. It was like I had got a chance of knowing ‘Anonymous’ but soon after it was revealed, I lost ‘Anonymous’ once again. I came back to India thinking all the while how we’d get into talking, how I’d see you in my colours. The colours part happened, but that day I let you down; something from within just didn’t allow me to stretch my arms for you. I am also ashamed of being a party to mahi buaa’s musings after you went running up and the ongoing fun trivial talks for musing during the marriage days. I want you to be a part of me as well at one end. I am so small I can’t even apologise for what Malhotra’s did to you for so many years. No one ever told me what was going on in the house. I used to meet mom and dad at odd places, not been home in years; and when I was; you were so small that I refused to move you around with me where ever I went. Also when Shalini came into my life, I hated the way you behaved with her. Besides that I was always unconcerned about you, so I named you ‘Anonymous’ and that’s how I used to address you among we cousins. Shalini meant my first love then, and the idea of using my time being with ‘Anonymous’ was something I detested. So I used to send you to different places for some work or other. I would leave you at places and disappear with Shalini. I would never listen to you even if you tried from your end. I saw you crying but was never bothered, when among cousins. Years passed and everything got disconnected, I forgot about ‘Anonymous’ coz now you didn’t exist for me. Even when I met up with mom and dad, there were so many things to talk about, than ‘Anonymous’; besides mom and dad from their end never spoke a word about you. Nor did any of our extended family. Angel when I heard your small disclosures about how you hated Devil and Lini, I used to feel sorry for you; but before I could tell you to give me a chance to love you; things got out of hand. I wanted to help you and be with you, but again I couldn’t call up home and after so many years ask about ‘Anonymous’. And now too I am before you, don’t know what to tell you, don’t know how to love you, don’t know how to make you believe in me for I have failed you for so many years. Wednesday am leaving for UK. I just wanted to meet you. I wish I could have you by my side and love you more than Sameer or anyone did, even when they are your best mates…….”

Part – 8

Anamika yelled, and cried and screamed all of a sudden “I used to come online everyday thinking you would too, but like always you disappeared leaving me alone. And how dare you call Sameer my best mate” Anamika by then had become a mad freak; she got herself freed from Sameer’s hug. She was sobbing hard, and among these loud crys she was yelling at the top of her voice. Anamika became uncontrollable, the rigorous movement added to her galore of becoming wild. Raghav, Sameer, Rohan, Neha and Dadi all sprang up at once, trying their best to calm her down. But fire had already struck. She rushed to Rohit, held him by the shirt and screamed, “they are my family, I am their daughter, each one of their’s. No one on this earth can love me more than they can. Sameer is my Dad, Rohan is my mom, Raghav is my tougher mom, Neha is my best mate and best gal I share secrets with. Dadi is above everyone.” Rohan pulled Anamika away from Rohit and tried hugging her. But this time she wasn’t prepared to be hugged, instead she kept trying to pull herself away and kept moving towards Rohit. Anamika kept yelling “What have Malhotra’s given me, haven’t you heard I am a filth staining Malhotra for 23 years. What are you here for? You used to always leave me and disappear, why have you come for me now. I hate you, I will hate you always, Devil becoming AngelEyes won’t make my hate go away. I longed to be with you when I was small, you used to always leave me alone and run away. I wanted to be loved, to be someone’s pet. No one cared for me in Malhotra’s. Can’t you see what I have done to myself all over the years? Did any one care even once how I am living, what all I do? No one did, but these people did, and today in their house you are telling you can love me more than they did if give you a chance! You have no shame and face of yours. None of the Malhotra’s have, none of you have ever stuck to your promises or words ever. And me despite being a filth I have stuck. What have you to say for it? I don’t want to see any one of your faces ever. I want to be away from all of you. The best is I kill and ruin myself, anyways who cares even if I live?” Anamika had gone psychic screaming like this, Sameer went crazy seeing her go down on the floor. The drugs started hitting on her. Everyone went red, Rohan, Raghav tried not crying. Neha held on to Dadi and sobbed hard. Chris, Kevin, Grace, Rohit and Kamini were all shaken. Sameer got a shot from the closet and injected into her. Anamika kept screaming till 5 mins when she dropped completely flat on the floor. Sameer held her in his arms. Rohan and Raghav rushed to her. They held her and formed a close hug and cried for her and Sameer kissed her on her forehead and held her like a doll close.

Early Wednesday morning, Anamika got up with reluctance. She didn’t want this day to happen, but Sameer promised it won’t be for long. Come Jan next year and all will be fine. Her luggage was readied, and she went and spent 30 mins each with Raghav, Neha and Dadi. Thereafter Anamika couldn’t just leave off Sameer and cried endlessly holding onto him.

At 8:30 AM Wednesday, Anamika boarded the flight; gave a long sigh, tears rolled her eyes; and she wished she wouldn’t have to return but just for the sake of Sameer, Neha, Raghav and Dadi. The flight took off and she hugged him and was crying. He said the future is thereafter going to be bright and happy like the SARR apartment occupants always wanted.


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