Sejal: I… I don’t know sir. Riddhu, should we call any doctor?
Riddhima: N….o!!!! Tab…lets!!!
Vansh: Tablets!!! Where…. I mean what tablet you need? Name!! I’ll arrange
Riddhima: Sej…al my ba…g!!!!
Sejal: You have medicine in your bag?
Riddhima nodded and Sejal laid Riddhima on the couch before rushing to their cabin to get her bag and once back she searched her bag and found some pills she handed them to Riddhima which she gulped with difficulty and within few minutes her heart rate normalized and she was back to normal.
Though Vansh was aware of her phobia, he didn’t want either Sejal or Riddhima to understand that they are aware of her miserable life
Vansh (worried): What happened to you Riddhima?
Riddhima: Am… am a victim of…. Phono…phobia
Vansh: Am… am sorry Riddhima, I shouldn’t have yelled in front of you. I wasn’t aware of your phobia
Riddhima nodded her head in negative
Riddhima: It’s… it’s not your fault sir. You … you weren’t aware. It’s ok…ay!!!!
Sejal helped Riddhima to reach her cabin while Vansh too reached his cabin and was accusing himself of her condition.
Vansh (thinking): How can I be so careless! I knew her condition and yet I shouted in front of her and … and her condition!!! OMG! I don’t know how can I be so foolish! What if something happened to her! The mere thought itself is so horrifying. I have to be careful around her, the trauma she is going through isn’t something normal that I behave coldly in front of her. Am sorry Riddhima, because of my foolish behavior you had to go through so much pain, and in the future, I’ll make sure I will be careful
After a while, there was a knock on his cabin
Vansh: Come in
Riddhima entered the room puzzling him
Vansh: Riddhima? Are you fine now?
Riddhima: Sir, am… am fine now. It was a normal attack!!!
Vansh: Am once again sorry for that
Riddhima: NO… I mean …no sir it wasn’t your fault
Vansh gave a slight smile and Riddhima spoke about her reason behind coming to his cabin
Riddhima: Sir, you have to go on the cruise for the launch of equipment’s
Vansh: Umm…. Intimate Angre and Sejal too to be ready to leave in few minutes and even you are accompanying us.
Riddhima: Yes sir
She left the cabin while Vansh called his driver to bring his car while Riddhima informed the same to Angre and Sejal. In few minutes all were on their way to the cruise in his car, Angre driving while Vansh in the passenger seat with the ladies occupying the seats behind. All this while Vansh was staring at Riddhima through the rear mirror, trying to understand her those features which were all lifeless.
They reached the cruise soon and once all were in, Sejal and Riddhima were going through the final checks while Vansh and Angre were conversing with some associates. After a while, they completed their launch program and left towards the office. Vansh was observing that Riddhima was maintaining a calmness which was against her nature as per Aryan. Vansh and Angre left for lunch with some of his associates while Riddhima and Sejal were going through some files. During lunch hour, Riddhima and Sejal reached the canteen; Sejal took a morsel from Riddhima’s box and moaned in pleasure
Sejal: Yaar Riddhu; it’s just heavenly
Riddhima: Have it; (smiling) I bought it for you so that I could have uncle’s food
Sejal: For your food, I am ready to sacrifice dad’s food. Here you go,
Exchanging their boxes, they had food discussing the childhood, once done they got back to their work; clarifying her doubts, Riddhima was understanding the VR Industries. By the time they were done, Vansh and Angre were back and were discussing about Mehta’s when Vansh called Sejal and Riddhima into the cabin
Sejal: Yes sir,
Vansh: Sejal, any information on our equipment in Port?
Sejal: Sir, I spoke to the authorities they informed us that most probably by tomorrow afternoon they’d move our equipment’s as a priority and they’d reach us by the next day
Vansh: Better!!! And what about Agarwal’s tender?
Sejal: Riddhima has done some estimation
Riddhima: Sir, as per the clauses and their requirement, I … I felt like to get the contract, we need to bid the 2nd lowest
Angre: 2nd low?
Riddhima: Sir, the Agarwal’s are in search of such firm which won’t use faulty machinery and equipment’s in the façade of the low quote so they’d reject the low quote and opt for 2nd low.
Vansh: Impressive….. and what should be our quoted amount?
Riddhima: Considering all the aspects, the lowest quote would be approx. 155 Crores so we need to quote around 158 – 160 crores……. this is my opinion, sir!!!
Vansh: Interesting….. Angre our quote is going to be 158.5 crores
Angre: Done, I’ll do that
Vansh: It’s already 7:30 pm, Sejal I think you both need to leave now.
As soon as Vansh spoke of leaving, Riddhima’s eyes widened in shock, she totally forgot that she has to get back to that monster who might have by now waiting for her to vent his frustration on her. Unknowing to her, her eyes welled up and were on the verge of breaking down. She wiped her tears even before someone could notice or at least she thought so, as Vansh already noticed it and even the reason behind those precious tears.
Vansh (thinking): Am sorry Riddhima, I know you forgot about all that and concentrated on your work and now I reminded it of you. But we can’t give an opportunity to him to raise a question on your character and after all, I have observed, he might be waiting as a hungry beast. Only if I had the right to stop you and take you to your happiness ….. but I don’t have any.
Sejal (thinking): Shit!!!! We forgot that she has to get back to him by the end of the day. I don’t know how she’ll be able to manage!!! Only if I could take her to home, I could give her the freedom from mental and physical torture which he’d give.
Angre (thinking): Why Vansh!!! Why did you raise that topic!!! She seemed to have forgotten everything and was concentrating on her work then why did you have to remind her!! Look how afraid she is just with the thought of getting back home!!! Will she be fine!!!
Vansh: Sejal!!! Your vehicle would be here in 5mins. Drop her home and you go. I hope you won’t have any issues!!
Sejal: Of course, sir. I won’t have any.
Vansh: Ping Angre after your reach
Sejal: Yes sir!!!
Vansh: And yes…. Riddhima, tomorrow the vehicle reach your address by 8:15 and you have to be here by 9 am and the rest Sejal would have explained you.
Riddhima nodded her head with the thoughts of what’s going to happen tonight in her miserable life.
Vansh: Sejal, your vehicle is here. Riddhima, you may leave for today and tomorrow make sure you’ll be here by 9
Riddhima: Yes sir!!
Riddhima and Sejal left for their cabin to pack and took their cab and left. All the way long, Sejal was trying to understand Riddhima’s fear as her eyes were crying invisible tears. Once she reached her house, bidding bye to Sejal she moved towards her house to find the living room messy once again, and fear occupied her heart once again, with baby steps she started searching for that monster
When she doesn’t receive any reply, she starts walking towards their bedroom and the sight in front of her was something she had an idea of. Kabir was on the floor and 2 bottles of alcohol beside him. Riddhima was afraid of even getting close to him, so silently moved to the washroom instead of waking a beast. Freshening up she reached to the kitchen steadily making sure not to make any sound and started cooking. She was done and was arranging the living room while was hesitating to either wake him or not
Riddhima (thinking): Should I wake him or not!!! If I wake him he’ll hit me saying I spoiled his sleep and if I don’t then he’d bash me saying I didn’t even care for his health and didn’t feed him!! What do I do Bappa!!!
She was thinking all that while arranging the cushions on the sofa when she felt a grab on her neck from behind and she freaked out
Riddhima (shock): Ahhh!!!!
: Madam got time to come home? (sarcasm)
Riddhima (afraid): Kab…ir!!!! Its hurt…ing
He was piercing his nails on the flesh of her neck. Piercing her he was soothing his inner monster
Kabir: Where was this fear when you reached home late? Ahh???
Twisting her hand behind her back and pressing it hard
Riddhima: Ahhh!!!!! (crying)
Kabir: Where was this fear when you didn’t wake me for dinner and had it yourself?
Riddhima (tears): Ahh….. Kabir….. I…. I was ab…out to wak…e you!!!
Kabir: When? Tomorrow morning?
Riddhima (nodding her head in disapproval): N…o!!!!
Pressing her hand behind her hard and pulling her neck towards him with a force such that she might sprain her neck,
Riddhima (cry): Ahhhh!!!!!!!!!
She tried to get rid of his grip, with only free hand she started wiggling on his grip on her neck where it was aching of his pressure. And Kabir was smirking seeing her wiggle in his grip. He bent to her cheeks and rubbing his cheek to her, and biting her earlobe with that filthy alcoholic breath he was having his share of enjoyment in her helplessness.
Riddhima (tears): Kabir….plea…se!!!!!
Kabir: I can’t hear you Riddhima!!! (Pressing his nails deeper) What did you say?
Riddhima (crying): Ahhh…hhh!!!!! Kabir …please….its…. its hurt…ing!!!!
Kabir: Where did this fear go before eating dinner without waking me Riddhima? Haa?? Bolo na!!!!
He pushed her with force leaving both her neck and hand that she fell with a thud on the ground wincing in pain as she hit the sofa leading to a bruise on her forehead corner. She rubbed her hand, neck, and forehead turned to see Kabir pulling his belt off his trouser. Riddhima understood what was in her store in few seconds and to avoid that with tears flowing she started moving back but he pulled her swiftly and before she could speak or react, she received a strong whip with his belt and it left her body leaving its traces on her left hand which she used to protect herself. She cried holding her hand while he once again raised his belt to hit her and she turned around to avoid it and that left its traces on her back this time. Her cries didn’t reach her savior, and the person in front of her didn’t pay to her cries and started lashing his work frustration on her. After some whips like around 7-8 lashes on her weak body, he threw the belt and collapsed on the chair sweating while Riddhima was crying holding her body to herself.
Kabir: This is your punishment for eating dinner with my hard-earned money without waking me
Riddhima (crying): I …. I didn’t e…at!!!!
Kabir (casually): Good for you!!! Now stop this drama and serve me food am hungry. I’ll be back in 2mins after washing my face and I want my dinner on the table by then varna…. (smirk) You know it!!! Isn’t it darling!!!!
He left to the room while Riddhima with difficulty got off the floor and realized her legs too have traces of lashes. No option left, she dragged herself with difficulty to the dining and started arranging the food for him and as said he was back soon. He sat in his chair and started having his dinner without any guilt of trashing her without any reason just to satisfy his beast. There was utter silence while they had their food, the only sound echoing was the tickling sounds of ceramic dining set. After dinner Kabir left to the room while Riddhima picked his and her plate and washed the dishes, arranging the table and locking the main door, she reached her room to find Kabir in the washroom. She pulled her first aid kit and reached the living room. Taking the painkiller tablet, she gulped it, and taking the painkiller spray she started spraying it on her bruises and wherever she saw some blood oozing, she used the antiseptic and applied it there, blowing some air to the wounds she tried to soothe her pain. When she felt she applied the ointment on all her bruises she reached her room to find Kabir sleeping and sighing a relief, she turned the lights off and dozed making sure she doesn’t hurt herself more by her sleeping positions.
Night indeed has magic in its hands, whatever might be going through in life, she occupies their thoughts leading them to doze off in its warmth. Occupying their dreams, it shows them an imaginary concept of life where they won’t be facing any turmoil of reality of life instead they’d be finding solace in those reel dreams which would break once sun rises and kicks their ass with the reality of life. But still, we all love Night as it gives us immense pleasure and relief at least for few hours from our daily stress and issues which make us restless. But night….. night has the ability to soothe all our pains by its soothing breeze.
It was similar with Riddhima, shutting all the windows related to Kabir, his torture, and his memories which give her pain; she opens the windows of her dreamland in the breeze of the night which gives her warmth of solace. All her pains, all her troubles, all her stress fades in the brightness of moonlight. Finding peace in her dreamland, she lives her life the way she wants without anyone to disturb her happiness.