Bound To You – (Book Two) – Chapter 1
Link to the prologue : https://www.tellyupdates.com/bound-to-you-book-two-prologue/*Everyone made a dash for their seats as if they were running for their lives. There was a pindrop silence with the only noise coming from the approaching steps. No one would have guessed that this office was filled with hustle-bustle just a while ago.The door was opened wide and the staff noticed their boss entering inside with a head held high and surrounded on either side by guards and assistants.They unanimously stood up and mumbled a hurried ‘Good Morning.’
They watched as her heels rhythmically hit the floor and her high ponytail swayed to and fro. The aura and confidence that she emanated was something that her employees collectively admired as well as feared.She stopped midway, her sharp eyes falling upon a middle aged worker.“Raman, I want you in my cabin right now!” she ordered him.As she continued walking towards her cabin with Raman following her, the rest of the staff could only imagine the fate that poor Raman would have to face.Back in the cabin, Riddhima sat in her chair with her legs crossed one over the other and her hands resting upon the armrests. Raman stood there with a bowed down head and sweat flowing down his face.She angrily picked up a file. “What the hell is this?”“I’m sorry Ma’am, this won’t…..”“How many years are you working over here for?” she interrupted.“Pardon me Ma’am?”“How many years Raman, since you joined this office?” she asked irritatedly.“Five years.”“Five years? Five years and you still don’t know how things work here?” she mocked. “At VR Group of Conpanies, we demand perfection. And there’s no scope for mistakes.”“And this,” pointing towards the file in her hands. “Is utter rubbish. Tomorrow, by sharp 9AM, I need a brand new and improvised version of this file on my desk. Or else….” she looked at him straight in the eye. “Or else you’ll find your resignation letter on my desk in place of that. Is that clear?”“Yes Ma’am.” He hurried away before he got any further scoldings.As soon as Raman stepped out of the cabin, few of his colleagues came up to him to sympathize with his situation.“When Vansh Sir left, I felt a tad too relieved that I wouldn’t have to face his wrath. But what I didn’t know was that his wife is also no less,” murmured Raman.“She’s literally the female version of VR. No reason why Vansh Sir married her,” another person joined in the gossip. “But sometimes I really wonder where exactly did Vansh Sir go to all of a sudden?”“You know that as the staff, we aren’t allowed to ask too many questions,” Raman shushed him up. “Or else we may even end up losing our job. We are only assigned to do all the necessary work, not dwell into our bosses’ personal lives.”
______________________________________Riddhima tapped on the table impatiently, her eyes glancing at the clock every now and then.“How much time more, Angre?” she asked in an irked voice.“I don’t know what’s wrong. I’ll ask them,” said Angre. He walked up to the man sitting across the other end of the conference table.“Where is Mr. Sharma? The meeting was scheduled for 11AM, and it’s already 11.15 right now.”The assistant turned timid. Everyone knew how unforgiving and menacing Vansh Raisinghania was in the business world. And now, his wife was following his footsteps.“Actually, Sharma Sir’s mother is critical since the past four days and is admitted in the ICU. He will come but it will take some time. Hope you understand. It’s the situation of life and death of someone,” said the assistant.Riddhima got up from the seat with a sudden jerk. She slammed her palms against the table and hovered over the quivering assistant.“If Mr. Sharma’s mother’s health is so serious, then why was he seen getting cozy with a random girl at a club yesterday evening?” she thundered.The assistant was shocked. He wondered as to how on earth did she know this.Riddhima steadied herself and adjusted her suit. “Ask your casanova boss to continue enjoying in the arms of his escort. And also tell him to come up with a better excuse next time. Oops, there isn’t going to be a next time. Because VR Companies never gives a second chance to anyone. Especially,” looking him up and down with disgust. “To impunctual and unprofessional liars like you and your boss.”“But what about the d-deal, Ma’am?” The assistant realized that he shouldn’t have asked this question as soon as he saw her giving him a death stare.“There isn’t going to be ANY DEAL!” she said in a dangerous tone. Tossing her head in a manner that screamed haughtiness, she left from that place.
______________________________________Riddhima was sitting in the backseat of the car vibing to the soft music playing on the radio. She had worn her shades as a cover from the blazing sunlight.“The deal with the Sharmas was an important one for us,” said Angre who was seated right beside her. “I think you were too hasty in cancelling it.”Peering outside the window, she spoke, “More than us, this deal was important for the Sharmas. They wouldn’t want to lose it at all. I’m sure they’ll try their best to convince us for a partnership again. And that’s when we’ll strike and show them who’s the more powerful one among us. Their desperation to get us back on the deal will drive them so crazy, that they’ll blindly agree to all our clauses and demands. And this will ensure that we have an upper hand over them.”Her phone began ringing and a victorious smile started playing on her lips.
“See what I told you? It is that very Sharma who is dying to talk to us. But for that, he’d have to wait for sometime.”She disconnected the call, put it on silent mode and shoved the mobile into her bag.“For the next three hours, I wouldn’t be taking any calls. Inform that to our clients.”Angre looked at her with a sense of admiration. It was less than nine months that Riddhima had started handling the business, but she already knew all about it’s games. She also was an expert at keeping her clients wrapped around her fingers.“Boss would have been so proud of her had he been here today,” he thought.The car came to a halt. A large board that stood in front of it read “HOPEWOOD SCHOOL”.Riddhima got down the car and rushed past the huge crowd of parents standing in and around the gates.She had been to this school numerous times before and therefore didn’t need to ask anyone for directions. She hurried to the school auditorium where the extempore speech competition would start any minute.“Mumma!”Riddhima turned in the direction of the voice and saw her little girl in school uniform waving at her from a distance. She left her group of friends and ran towards her mommy dearest.“Why are you so late, Mumma?” she asked making a face.“Sorry, I got a little busy at office,” Riddhima apologized.“I know, I know,” said Rhea, trying to sound like a big girl.“Where is Reyansh, by the way?” asked Riddhima.“He’s backstage with the other contestants. But we aren’t allowed to go there,” Rhea explained.“Alright sweetie. We’ll sit here and wait for him. And remember, when he comes up on stage, we need to cheer for him the loudest!” Riddhima held her daughter’s tiny hand and led her to the empty seat in the first row.One of the teachers came up on the stage and gave an overview on all the rules, regulations and the prizes that will be given away.The very first contestant was Reyansh himself. He was looking so adorable in his grey school shorts, white tucked in shirt and the little grey tie hanging down from the collar, that Riddhima felt like eating him up. Excited, She took out her phone to record his performance.Reyansh was asked to pick up a chit from a bowl. When he opened it to see what it read, his face changed.He sadly came up to the mike and said in a clear and crisp voice, “My Papa….”Riddhima could feel a strong wave of emotion grip her. Since Vansh had left them for his mission, both the children missed him terribly. Would her little Reyansh be able to gather himself together and speak on something as sensitive a topic as this?But she needn’t worry about that. Her children were much stronger than she had thought.Reyansh started speaking, “My Papa wasn’t there with us when I was small. I always used to imagine how he’d look like. When I saw him after many years, he looked very scary. That’s why I and my sister used to call him ‘Scary Uncle’….”A few giggles could be heard from the audience when they heard the last line.“But then when he started living with us, I came to know that he is not as scary as he looks like from outside. He always fulfills all our wishes, plays games with us, saves us from Mumma’s scoldings. And once he even shaved his beard for us. He was looking so handsome that time that even Mumma kept staring at him for a long time…”The audience started laughing and Riddhima felt a little embarrassed. Why were these kids so blunt? There was no need for him to say that!Reyansh continued, “My Papa is a very busy man. He had to leave again for some important work…..” It looked like he was about to tear up, but he was controlling himself in spite of that. “I wish he was like other fathers who never went anywhere else. I wish he comes back soon. I really miss him a lot. Papa, I love you as high as the sky….”There was a loud round of applause from the crowd that went on and on for at least a minute or two. Most of the parents had become emotional. And as for Riddhima, her eyes were all welled up, smudging her mascara. But she couldn’t cry openly because Rhea was with her too. After Vansh, she was their only support system left. How could she fall weak in front of them?If she had her way, she’d have wanted to run up to her munchkin and pull him into a tight hug. But she knew that it was in their best interest if she let them become much stronger than they already were.As luck would have it, Reyansh won the first prize for his speech. Riddhima picked him up in her arms and kept swirling him round and round till his happy gurgles filled her ears.“I am so, so proud of you, my baby. Well done!”He smiled widely. But then, his expression became dull.“What happened, Rey? Why are you looking so sad?” asked a worried Riddhima.Reyansh hung his head down. “I wish Papa was here too, to hear my speech.”As more and more time kept passing by, Riddhima was finding it increasingly difficult to explain the situation to the kids. And why not, they were mere seven year old kids – so young, so innocent, so sensitive.She bent down to his level. “I know you think that Papa is far away from us. But that is not true. He’s very close to us, much closer than we can imagine.” She tugged a finger at his tiny chest. “Here. Papa is right here in your heart, in our hearts.”Reyansh’s face glowed up. “Really Mumma? Does Papa stay in my heart?”“Yes, my pumpkin. And don’t you worry about your speech. I recorded it in my phone so that we can show it to Papa when he returns. How’s that?”“But when Papa comes back, I won’t talk to him. I’ll stay angry with him,” Rhea huffed and crossed her arms. “He didn’t come to meet us for so many days. Doesn’t he care that we must be missing him?”Riddhima’s emotions were beginning to get the better of her. Yet, she still had that cheerful face on.She playfully pinched Rhea’s nose. “It is all a very big lie. Because I know that Rhea can’t stay angry with her Papa for even longer than a minute. Am I right?”“No you are wrong!” The twins said in unison.Riddhima raised an eyebrow. “Oh is that so?”With that, she began tickling both the children until they were tired with all that laughing.
______________________________________When the trio reached home, they were in for a pleasant surprise to see Roshan and Ronita come over to pay them a visit.“Mamu!” The twins went and flung their arms around his waist.“Hello you two trouble-makers! Did you both miss me or not?” asked Roshan.“Yes!” The twins screamed together.“And what about Mami? Did no one miss me?” asked Ronita making a frowning face on purpose.“No, we missed you two!” The kids screamed and jumped up on her.Anupriya placed her hands on her ears with all the noise making her irritated.“Thank goodness you came on time Riddhima. I was beginning to get a headache because of these two,” she pointed in Roshan’s and Ronita’s direction.“Why, what’s wrong Mummyji?” asked a confused Riddhima.“These both are grownups, yet their cribbings are worse than those of Rhea and Reyansh!” said Anupriya.“Oh hello Auntyji, if you think our fights are worse, then what will you say about Di and Jiju? Whenever they argued, it seemed like I was watching Tom and Jerry!” Ronita laughed at her own joke.But no one else found it worthy to laugh. Especially Anupriya. The sudden mention of her son whom she hadn’t seen since so many months made her emotional. Citing an excuse, she left from there.Riddhima exactly knew what Anupriya’s problem was. That is why she always made sure to avoid bringing up Vansh’s name in front of her as much as possible. But of course, she couldn’t tell that to Ronita out of all people.“What were you guys fighting about by the way?” Riddhima folded her arms giving them her full attention.“Di, I’ve been coaxing Roshan since a long time to shift to Mumbai but he won’t listen to me. Before at least you were there in Manali and it didn’t feel very lonely there. But it’s been almost ten months since you moved here along with Jiju. On top of that, even my family has shifted to Mumbai and all my other relatives have been living here only. So what’s the point in continuing to stay in Manali?”“Well, she’s got a valid point there. What do you’ve to say about that, Roshan?” asked Riddhima.Roshan cleared his throat. “Di, let me be really honest with you. It’s a fact that I miss you and the kids, but I’m ready to bear the pain of staying away from you guys. But I cannot for the love of God bear Ronita’s weird family around me, I’m sorry!”“How dare you call my family as weird?” Ronita snarled at her husband.“Well, that’s what they are!” Roshan smirked.“Di, tell him to stop!” Ronita turned to her sister-in-law for help.“She’s my sister. Why will she listen to you?”“She’s my sister too, so you better….”Riddhima had had enough of all this. She shouted at them to stop it for once and all.“Mummyji was right. I’m sure even I will start groaning with a headache within no time!” she grumbled.Roshan and Ronita immediately became guilty and mumbled a quick ‘sorry’.“It’s okay. By the way, when are you guys heading back to Manali?” enquired Riddhima.“Tomorrow morning. I wanted to stay here for some more time, but you know your brother well….”“Ronita….” Riddhima rolled her eyes at her. “Not again please. Why don’t you both go upstairs to the guest room and take some rest? You must be really tired from all that travelling.”Upon her instructions, one of the servants escorted Ronita to the said location. It was now only Riddhima and Ronita left to themselves.“How’s life, Di?” he asked out of the blue.Riddhima replied, “Oh very good, I must say. But quite busy. I’ve to manage both the household as well as the business. So…”“So what’s the difference, then?”“What do you mean?”“Before also your life was like this. Juggling between house and work. So what difference has Vansh’s re-entry in your life made? Literally nothing!” Roshan said annoyedly.“Look that is not how it is….”“Stop defending that man! Don’t become so blind in love that you don’t even see his faults. Remember there was a time when he was acting crazy for the kids? He literally kidnapped them from us and took them to his place forcefully. And now, when both Rhea and Reyansh as well as you need him, where the hell is he? Why is he so irresponsible?”“Enough said, Roshan,” Riddhima showed her palm to him. She wouldn’t bear a single word more against her husband. “You shouldn’t speak about something which you have no idea about.”“Why not? To be honest, I’m still unable to understand as to how could you forgive him so easily. He maligned your character, made your life almost a living hell….”“WHY are you bringing up the past again?” Riddhima reprimanded him. “I told you that it was all a big misunderstanding. And we have sorted it all out.”“And what about him being the Mafia? I don’t think that was a misunderstanding,” taunted Roshan.“HE IS NOT THE MAFIA,” she screamed at him.“Then what is HE?”Riddhima wished she could tell him everything. Everything about how Vansh was an underworld Don only for the world, but in reality he worked for the RAW, he worked for the country. How she wished she could go on praising about her husband’s patriotism and valour, but unfortunately she couldn’t.She still remembered how when she had reconciled with Vansh after coming to know the whole truth, Roshan had been so skeptical of her decision. She couldn’t tell him the real reason, so she just dismissed it as one huge misunderstanding in front of him. And now, he was back to square one, asking the same questions.This had been the same case with Anupriya as well. She was against Vansh patching up with Riddhima. But after a series of drama, finally she made peace with it.Riddhima took a deep breath and said, “Vansh is a businessman. And he has gone for some important work. And until he returns if I manage the business, what’s the harm in that? Also, I don’t want you to bring up the past every now and then. We both have mutually buried the hatchet and want to live the rest of our lives as a normal and happily married couple.“I know you love and care for me. But I love Vansh. And I really want you to show some amount of trust on my love. You know that I’m not dumb. Whatever I’m doing, is only after thorough thinking…..”She turned to leave but before doing that, turned around for one last time.
“Just like how you cannot bear it if anyone speaks against Ronita, the same is with me, too. So be careful with your words next time.”Roshan looked on as his sister walked away. He shook his head in confusion. He really did not know how and why Vansh had been so easily forgiven by both Riddhima and Kabir alike. But one thing was for sure. The trio were definitely hiding something big from him and the others. But he didn’t know what.
______________________________________Riddhima was eating dinner with the rest of the family. Finally, Roshan and Ronita weren’t fighting with each other. Anupriya also seemed to be on good terms with them. The children were tok tired to show any mischief. As for Sia, she was her regular cheerful self, throwing random jokes around here and there.Riddhima’s phone began ringing and the screen showed Ahana’s name flashing on it.When she picked it up, she heard an anxious Ahana calling her to her house for urgent help.Riddhima heard the crying of the baby in the background. She understood what the matter was about.Leaving the dinner midway, she drove to Ahana’s house. There was a tight security around which had been specially arranged by Kabir. But of course, the guards knew her and let her in.When she entered the house, she saw Ahana in a messy condition, trying hard to cradle her crying baby in her arms.“Thank God Riddhima you are here!” Ahana said in relief. “Look at Payal. I don’t know what’s wrong, but in spite of me trying every possible way, she isn’t stop crying.”Riddhima deftly reached out for the two-months old baby and took her in her arms. She looked at her cute pink face. She smiled when she noticed the stark similarity between the baby and Kabir. Like father, like daughter.The baby kept swinging her hands and and legs like a little fish. She stared with her big, glossy eyes at the woman baby talking. She fell quiet within no second.Riddhima sang a lullaby to the baby while cradling her, and she went into a deep slumber within some time.Taking care not to disturb her, she placed baby Payal in her cot and draped her with a blanket.“How is Payal so happy with you? She stops crying the second you lift her in your arms. I’m her mother, but I fond it so difficult to calm her down….” Ahana said dejectedly. “Am I not a good mother?”“Of course you are! Stop second guessing yourself,” Riddhima assured her. Both the ladies came out in the hall to talk to each other, lest their voices woke little Payal up.“It’s just that you are always so anxious around the baby, and she senses those anxious vibes. That’s the reason why she starts crying,” explained Riddhima.“I don’t know. I can’t even imagine how you must have managed your twin babies. Here, I can’t even handle a single one,” said Ahana. “And so sorry for troubling you like this.”Riddhima placed her hand on top of Ahana’s. “You can count on me whenever you want. You know that, right?
By the way, where is your maid? Isn’t she the one who manages both the baby and the house?”Ahana said annoyedly, “That stupid maid left for her village for a supposed emergency. She said she’ll ask one of her friends to replace her but apparently she’ll join from tomorrow onwards.”
She had a distant look in her eyes. “If Kabir would have been here, he’d easily managed the baby. But…..it’s been almost two months since Payal was born and he hasn’t even seen his daughter’s face!”Riddhima tried to console her who was on the verge of breaking down.Ahana continued, “Sometimes, I feel that he doesn’t love me. That’s why he left me for some stupid work of his!”“He definitely loves you. A lot. That is why he has arranged all these guards and servants to tale care of you in his absence….” Riddhima tried to say.“But I and Payal don’t need all these good-for-nothing people! We need HIM, we need Kabir. Is that too much to ask for being his wife and the mother if his child?” Ahana choked upon her tears. “He said he’s going to some outskirts to train some underprivileged children. But in taking care of those unknown, random children, he’s neglecting his own child!”“Ahana, I can understand your feelings….”“Of course, you can understand my feelings. Because even Vansh has gone to some far off place leaving you to handle everything in his absence. And coincindentally, both of them are stuck at places where there’s no network and about which we have no freaking idea. What is even going on? I’m telling you Riddhima, something’s not right. I can sense it. They both are hiding something from us, especially Kabir.”Riddhima swallowed hard. Both Ahana and Roshan had started having their respective doubts. Until when will she able to keep all the secrets under wraps? Till when will this mission go on? When would Vansh return? When would Kabir return?That is when something clicked her. Both Vansh and Kabir leaving their families on the same day and both of them staying away from them for the same amount of time….was this a mere coincidence? Or were they both working on the same mission?*
Sneak peek : Ahana calls up Riddhima late at night and informs her that some men have broken into her house. Riddhima and Angre go there to save her. Some goons are seen torturing a man and forcing him to spill out the beans.*Questions for you : Who do you think is the person being held by goons? Will Riddhima be able to save Ahana and her baby?*Hello everyone! That is it for today guys. Do comment. Questions for you : Who do you think is the person being held by goons? Will Riddhima be able to save Ahana and her babyPeace out!