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Bound To You – (Book Two) – Chapter 7

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Link to the 6th chapter : https://www.tellyupdates.com/bound-to-you-book-two-chapter-6/*When the bright morning replaces the dark night, it brings in with it a lot of unforeseen incidents. Nobody knows what would happen the next second. Perhaps that was the beauty of life, it’s uncertainty.Back in the shrine, Vansh aka Vishnu, was having a tough time tying the turban around his head.“Let me help,” Saanvi offered.Vansh sat on the ground cross-legged, while Saanvi circled around him, as she draped the orange coloured turban over his head.“I was thinking of making an announcement at the village gathering today that we would get married the very next week. What do you say?”Vansh started coughing as the shocking news hit him. However, he soon composed himself.“Next week? But why? Don’t you think that would be a tad too early?”Saanvi looked at him skeptically. “What is the reason behind this reaction? Don’t you want to marry me?”She tied the last knot and secured the turban tightly in it’s place.Vansh stood up on his feet and gazed at her softly, all thanks to his acting skills.“Of course, I want to marry you Saanvi. To be honest, I can’t wait to make you my wife…”Saanvi’s previous stoic face broke into a blush. Vansh smirked at the effect he had on her. He was blessed with the art of making women drool over him. And he very well knew when and where to put this talent to use effectively.“Then what is the problem, Vishnu?”“One week is too less of a time to do all the necessary preparations for a marriage,” said Vansh. “We need a bare minimum of two weeks at least. Why don’t we get married after that?”“You mean after two weeks?”“Yes.”Saanvi’s expression changed. “It’s not possible. Either we marry this coming week, or the next month. Not in between.”Vansh began to think deeply. Why had Saanvi made this weird preposition of marrying the coming week itself and not the next week after it? Unless…unless there was something important going to happen after two weeks. What if that was the very time when the bomb blasts were going to be held?“Why not after two weeks? What’s the matter with that?” Vansh prodded.“I am a little busy, you see,” came her immediate reply.Oh yeah baby, busy carrying out the blasts, he thought angrily.“And why exactly are you busy? Would you care to tell me that?” he further asked her.“I can’t tell you for now. But when the right time comes, you’ll be the first person to know,” she said.Vansh clenched his fists behind him. Why did this woman not trust him yet? He had played all sorts of tactics to make her fall hopelessly in love with him, but in spite of that she refused to share any vital information with him. What was the use of this drama then? What else should he do to obtain her trust?Vansh sulked and turned his face away. “We are getting married, but you’ve no faith on me yet.”“It’s not like that Vishnu. I do, I really do. I just need some time, that’s it.”“Fine.” He muttered in annoyance while placing a neatly folded shawl over his shoulder.One thing was for sure, that the bomb blasts could be held anytime after two weeks. That meant, he had quite less time to stop these blasts from happening. And not to forget, he still didn’t know the precise date and location where these would be carried out.Once both Vansh/Vishnu and Saanvi were ready to leave for the village festivities, Saanvi held his hand.“I am sure even Riddhima would be there. I want you to stay away from her,” she warned.“Riddhima who?” he feigned obliviousness.“That imbecile woman who entered our shrine without prior permission and disturbed your meditation!”Vansh tapped his forehead. “Oh yes, that woman. What’s wrong with her by the way?”“I don’t really know, Vishnu. But she doesn’t give me good vibes. I didn’t like the way she was staring at you.” She grasped his palm even more tighly, her eyes screaming of possessiveness. “I know you are a beautiful man, but you are only mine.”He smiled back, “Yes, I am only yours.”Continue to live in this fantasy bubble, you stupid woman, his inner self chuckled evilly.
______________________________________Riddhima saw Bindu bend down on her fours and putting something on the floor.“What are you doing?”“Putting rat poison. Angre bhaiya was telling me that a rat entered your room yesterday night?”Riddhima smiled to herself as she remembered the previous night. The pain of those long months that she had spent in waiting for Vansh had vanished the moment she saw him before her very eyes.“Yes, it was quite a giant rat,” she said amusedly.Bindu got up and intently looked at Riddhima. “My God! You are radiating like the moon today. Did your husband pay you a visit last night?”At this, Riddhima started choking. “What?!”Bindu explained, “What I meant was did your husband come in your dreams yesterday? Is that the reason behind your glow?”Riddhima heaved a sigh of relief. “Yeah, something like that.”“Do you miss your husband? I’ve heard that he has been away from you for many months.”Riddhima’s eyes welled up. “Which wife wouldn’t miss her husband?”Out of the blue, Bindu placed a sari in Riddhima’s hands.
“Today we all are gathering in the village grounds to celebrate Sohrai. It would feel good if you shed these city clothes and embrace this traditional sari. You’d look like one of us.”Riddhima peered down at her own clothes. She normally wore a simple kurti and teamed it up with leggings. Maybe Bindu was right. Her appearance was too ‘city like’ to be able to mingle with the locals.“Fine, I will wear this,” she said finally.
______________________________________The traditional Jharkhand style of draping the sari was different. In this, the pallu wasn’t allowed to freely hang over the shoulder, rather it was doubly draped around the waist and then carefully tucked into place.Taking Bindu’s help, Riddhima wore the sari the traditional way, and completed her look with a big red bindi and a high bun with flowers pinned into it.Bindu casted the evil eye off her. “My, my, my! You look so beautiful, just like a Goddess.”“Hehe, you are very sweet!” Riddhima chuckled in return.Later when she saw Angre dressed in a traditional kurta and dhoti, only she knew with how much difficulty she controlled her laughter. She had always seen Angre in formals, so unlike today.But it was different with Vansh. God knew what that man was made up of, but whatever he wore, he looked extremely good in it. When she met him yesterday, even though he was dressed like a priest, yet she just couldn’t seem to take her eyes off him.Was it his undisputed gorgeousness and charm doing it’s wonders on her, or was it because of the deep love that she held for him in her heart?They reached the village grounds which was hustling and bustling with the crowd. Every single person had come to participate in the festivities, including the old, sick and babies.The fairs were put up with all kinds of commodities being sold. Young ladies thronged the bangle sellers, trying the different colourful bangles on their hands, sending a collective clinking sound throughout. Kids excitedly jumped around the small toy and game shops. Mural arts and clay idols were also put on display. Verily, the festival of Sohrai was a huge affair over here!Right in the front of the ground, a huge pedestal was built. Atop it, was a beautiful statue of the Deity along with the necessary puja items kept beside it. A canopy of white fabric hovered over the pedestal.Riddhima was admiring the arrangements around her, when she collided with a little girl.“I’m so sorry. Are you okay?”Riddhima went on her knees and began examining the girl if she was hurt or not. The girl however was fine.Riddhima noticed that she was probably about seven or eight, roughly the same age of her own kids. Her face reminded so much of Rhea. Rhea, her little drama queen. How much she missed her.“What is your name?”“Tulsi.”“That’s a very pretty name.” Riddhima pulled her cheeks. “Which class do you study in?”Tulsi appeared confused.“I asked which class do you study in your school?” Riddhima repeated her question.“I don’t know what you are saying.”Riddhima opened her mouth to say something when she was interrupted by a woman calling out Tulsi’s name loudly. Perhaps, it was her mother.“This girl! She never listens to me and always leaves my hand to roam here and there.” The lady started scolding her. Turning her attention to Riddhima, she said, “I hope she didn’t trouble you much, though.”“Oh she didn’t. But for some reason, she couldn’t tell about which class she was studying in. Why is that so?”“Because she doesn’t go to a school.”Riddhima was astonished. “But why? She’s old enough to go to one.”“You see,” started the lady. “We don’t believe in sending our children to schools. Long time ago, the Government had tried opening a school here. But then we realized that it was their plan to brainwash our children into supporting the Government. And that was when the village leaders forcibly shut the school down.”“That means this place is devoid of any school?” asked a surprised Riddhima.“And there never will be one. Schools are just a waste of time.”“What are you talking about? Schools are an essential part of a child’s growth. It helps nurture their minds, teaches them the difference between right and wrong, and so much more. I’m assuming that Tulsi doesn’t know how to read and write even!”“No one knows to read and write in this village, Didi. Except the village leaders of course. And don’t underestimate my Tulsi. She knows everything that a girl of her age should know. She can sweep and mop, wash the dishes and clothes, and even can cook really well. In a few years’ time when she’ll attain puberty, I will get her married to a nice boy.”Riddhima couldn’t believe what she had just heard. These villagers didn’t have any schools or hospitals. And they considered it fine to marry off their underage daughters!Was this the same country that was achieving one milestone after the other in different fields? Sports, entertainment, space research, technology, healthcare – India was gradually carving a niche for itself. And on the other hand, were places like these where the people still believed in such horrible notions.Riddhima glanced at the little girl, Tulsi. She was so young, so impressionable, just like Rhea. No! Being a mother herself, she couldn’t let anything wrong to happen with another child.“This is absolutely rubbish! Until when will you be living in this senseless delusion of yours? Look at the world around you, they are moving so much ahead, and look at you people, still reeling in the backward thoughts!”The lady seemed to feel a little offended. “Didi, you belong to the city and have your own beliefs. Similarly, we have our own principles which we can never compromise with. We’d never let the Government to impose it’s modern-day rules and regulations upon us.”“What is happening here?” A croaky male voice spoke from behind.Riddhima turned to see Surya, the chieftain of the clan, there. He looked quite displeased. Perhaps he had heard whatever Riddhima had said.“You are a guest, so be like one. Do not interfere in our internal matters,” he said rudely. “Also I hope you haven’t forgotten that today is your last day in Chiria. Once all the celebrations are done, you are going back to Mumbai. Isn’t it?”Before Riddhima could put forth her argument, Angre came forward and pulled her away.“What are you doing, Riddhima?” he began berating her. “Do you think you can change an age-old mindset in a single day? Why are you involving yourself in their social problems?”“Something so awfully wrong is happening before my very eyes, and you expect me to stay put?” she retorted.“We aren’t here for doing any social service, rather we are here for a much bigger and more important purpose. Don’t forget that.”Riddhima fell quiet understanding what he meant.All of a sudden, the crowd broke into a boisterous chanting.“Long live the Gurumaata! Long live the Guruji!”Riddhima turned to her side and saw Saanvi and Vansh approaching with folded hands. They were surrounded on either side by their most trusted disciples.Angre’s mouth fell open when he recognized Vansh behind his disguise. Riddhima held his hand and blinked in signal.“You knew?” he whispered, his eyes still stuck on Vansh.“I found out yesterday.”“Why didn’t you tell me?”“I wanted to, but didn’t get an opportunity.”Angre couldn’t help but get a little emotional. “Glad to see him alive and safe.”Surya and his minions neared the priestess and the priest and made them wear garlands as a token of respect, after which he even touched their feet to take blessings.“Bless us that whatever we have planned becomes successful,” said Surya.Never! Vansh gritted his teeth.However, he mumbled a quick ‘tathastu‘ and ended the matter there.Even though he did not look anywhere except towards the front, he could still feel the gazes of two most important people on him – Riddhima and Angre.Vansh did manage to steal a glance at them later on. There was his close friend and his only companion during all his tough times, Angre. He seemed to be still reeling in the effects of his newfound discovery.And close to him, was his better-half and the love of his life. Dressed elegantly in a sari, she looked breathtakingly beautiful. He had an uncontrollable desire to whisk this particular belle into a secluded corner, far away from all the useless people in the world, only to show her how much he loved her, how much he craved for her.He shrugged off all the forbidden thoughts from his mind, because this wasn’t the right time to fantasize. However he mentally decided that once he returned home, he’d ask Riddhima to wear a sari for him. And then, nobody could stop him…“Come, it’s time to do the puja,” Surya beckoned them towards the deity.“We’ll do the puja together. After all, we are a couple and are planning to get married the coming week,” said Saanvi.Everyone happily clapped and cheered for the priestess and the priest.But Riddhima was burning in extreme jealousy.It’s just part of the mission. Just part of the mission! This is just a drama, nothing else, she mentally kept repeating it to herself.Her sharp nails clawed at the pleats of her sari when she saw Vansh and Saanvi holding the aarti stand together and performing the puja. There, their hands mingled with each other, while here, her hands were almost on the verge of tearing her own sari apart.“They make such a nice couple, don’t they?” Bindu who was standing close to Riddhima, ushered in her ears.
“Do you know that it was only a few months back that Gurumaata had met Guruji in the neighbouring village, and it was almost like a love-at-first-sight for them? Gurumaata has done a lot for us. I am happy that she has finally found a man who is at par with her knowledge, her sprituality as well as her kindness.”Riddhima couldn’t bear to hear anymore praises in that witch’s name.
“Let us concentrate upon the prayer now.”After the puja was completed, prasad was distributed amongst everyone. Either by coincidence or by the perfect game of the fate, Vansh was once again brought in front of Riddhima, with only a distance of few meters doing them apart.“Here.” He opened his fist to offer her the sweets.She readily accepted it from him, his long fingers brushing past her relatively smaller ones, sending an unexplanable jolt through her body.After all the rituals were done, the village girls began to perform a folk dance for the crowd. Riddhima and Angre sat right across Vansh and Saanvi, who in turn were given special seats.Vansh’s eyes began running throughout the place. It seemed as if he was in search of something, or more specifically, someone.“What are you looking around for?” Saanvi nudged him.The loud music muffled their voices and it was impossible for someone else to overhear their conversation..“The whole village is gathered here for the celebration, but I find one person missing,” spoke Vansh.“And who is that?” she asked.“Krishna.”Saanvi’s face became pale as soon as she heard this name.Taking complete notice of her expression, Vansh further continued. “Wasn’t he supposed to be Surya’s servant boy? I remember that whenever we came over to Surya’s house, he’d be there to welcome us with a broad smile. He was such a good masseur. Don’t know what kind of magic his hands had, but whenever he massaged my feet, I’d feel instantly feel rejuvenated. He used to massage your feet too, isn’t it?”Just like how Vansh had entered the village with the fake identity of Vishnu, Kabir had done the same. As Krishna, he had infiltrated Surya’s abode and had soon gained his trust as one of his best servants. Under the guise of taking care of Surya’s household, he used to spy on him.Everything was running smoothly with nobody doubting any of the duo, until recently.Broaching upon Krishna’s topic was a way for Vansh to find out more about what these people had exactly done with Kabir after finding out his real identity.Saanvi looked around her to make sure no one was nearby. But she needn’t worry, because everyone else was busy in enjoying the dance performances.“Krishna wasn’t as simple as he showed us. He was actually a spy sent by the Government to snoop around us.”“What?!” Vansh acted shocked. “I’d never have imagined that he was betraying our clan all along!”“You never know what lies behind that innocent face,” uttered Saanvi.“That traitor should have been punished severely. You should have ensured that he got the most brutal form of death, so that no one would dare do this with us again,” said Vansh. But internally he was praying for none of this to have actually happened.She spoke in a hushed tone. “We didn’t kill him. Yet.”The amount of joy that Vansh felt that time, couldn’t be expressed in mere words. Kabir was alive! This was the best news he had got since the past few days.“But why?” he furrowed his brows to carry on the next part of his drama.“You see, not only Krishna, but there is someone else too who’s betraying us. And we don’t know who. So unless we don’t find his other partner-in-crime’s name, unfortunately we’d have to leave him alive.”Vansh mumbled a silent thank you to the heavens above. The thought that Kabir was alive gave him a newfound hope. He vowed to himself that he’d find him, by hook or by crook. And he would do it today itself.
______________________________________To the onlookers, it seemed like Riddhima and Angre were enjoying the folk dances playing out in front of them. But in reality, their eyes were fixated upon Vansh and Saanvi, noticing their every little movements and gestures.Vansh, however seemed to be deeply indulged in a conversation with Saanvi. It was only after a full ten minutes, that he made eye contact with Angre.He rubbed his hands twice, pinched his nose and blinked his eyes thrice. He also made a weird gesture with his fingers which Riddhima couldn’t comprehend.“What is this man doing?” she muttered under her breath.Angre ended her confusion. “Boss is using our personal sign language to give me his message.”“Your personal sign language?” Riddhima echoed his words.“We have been using this sign language since the days of his entry into the Mafia world. And that is how…”“Fine cut it. Tell me, what is he saying now?” asked Riddhima impatiently.“He’s saying that Kabir is alive.”Riddhima took a deep breath, absolutely relieved. All was not lost.Angre continued, “He’s planning to go and look for him now itself. And in his absence, he wants us to keep Surya and Saanvi busy so that they don’t realize that he’s gone.”When Riddhima looked up to glance towards the other side, she saw that Vansh had already left. Saanvi was busy in cheering up for the dancers, and hadn’t noticed that Vishnu/Vansh had left her side.Angre spoke up, “I’ll keep Surya distracted while you keep Saanvi distracted. Okay?”Riddhima gulped. It was made evident from their previous meeting otself, that Saanvi did not like her even a bit. Then amongst all this, how would she be able to divert her attention away from Vansh’s absence?*Hello everyone! That is it for today guys. Docomment. Peace out!

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