Shashi gupta was sitting on the dining table with Garima. He had not touched his evening tea which had gone stone cold now. There were at least five ACB officials outside his house, monitoring him like a bloody animal who would escape any moment; he had never felt this humiliated in his entire life!
He wondered why after living by the rules and doing business ethically had he been subjected to this shame. Never in his life had he thought that he would have to see this day. The questioning yesterday was atrocious. They asked him why his daughter had changed the quotes; when he told them that it was done by Sheena, they would not believe him since the project still had Khushi as the project leader.
On top of all this, no one could get in touch with Kishore and Sheena in Dubai. Their phones were coming unreachable. He really needed Khushi to be with him at this time, but circumstances made it difficult and she was better off in Delhi where Dipti was doing a good job of covering up for her. He sighed and held his wife's hand across the table “Don't worry dear. Everything will be sorted out. Once Sheena says that she had changed the quotes due to some further calculations everything will get cleared. Lets just hope we get in touch with them soon” He said assuringly.
A few minutes later, one of the ACB officer, Mr Pandey came to the dining room “We have just had a call that our delhi branch has found your daughter. In fact mr Raizada's people found her and are bringing her in as we speak. She should get here in few hours”
Shashi looked at his wife worriedly “What? Mr Raizada's people found her? What rubbish is this! She's not some common criminal who was being chased. This is all just a misunderstanding. You better tell Arnav Raizada that if my daughter is harmed even a little bit, i'll have his head!”
Mr Pandey felt pity for the poor man, he felt he was being honest by denying the accusations, but when an accusation was made, it has to be followed. He gave him one last look and left.
Shashi felt like the whole earth was moving. He did not want his darling daughter to be privy to any controversy. She was just starting out and had a bright future ahead. He was just glad that this news had not leaked out to the media. If things get worse, he will take the entire blame on himself, even though he was innocent. He could not let Khushi's name be tarnished by this. Never.
For Khushi it was an emotional moment saying good bye to everyone. They had made up a story about one of Khushi's relative not being well. Arnav felt this was not the right time to let them know about the entire truth regarding her. Dadiji & Anjali said teary good byes to her.
Anjali was especially sad because she felt there was something growing between her brother and Khushiji, but before it could be explored further she was leaving. She could never thank her enough for all that she had done for her and her kids, she took Khushi's hands in her and said in a teary voice “I so wish i could replay you in some way for your kindness. I would never have come out of my state if it wasn't for you. I can only promise you that i'll always be grateful to you and i want to be part of your life, with you not as my children's governess, but my friend. Please keep in touch with me Khushiji, and remember any time you are in Delhi, you have a family here waiting for you.” with that she hugged her tightly.
Khushi felt tears flowing as she hugged anjali back. She never knew it would be so difficult to say good bye to everyone. Next she hugged dadiji and promised her that as soon as her relative was better, she'll try and come back. She wanted to meet the twins before she left but they were still in school. As she was walking to Yuvi he winked at her; she gave him a small smile. He came and held her hands “Khushi, i know you'll be back here soon.So i'm not saying a good-bye.Go kick some a***s!” She rolled her eyes at him and said good-bye to the staff while walking out of the palace towards the waiting car. She wondered how everyone would have reacted if they knew the entire truth.
Arnav could not stand and see her saying good-bye to everyone. He knew that once this fiasco was over, he will bring her back. He knew that Khushi was part of him now. He could not live another day without her by his side. But there were too many things to sort of before that; starting with punishing those As*****s. They had played enough with his and Khushi's family and life. Now it was time to pay.
He had spoken to Mr Patnaik and explained his plan to him. No one was to know about what Arnav had discovered about the four of them. Surprisingly Mr Patnaik was very co-operative since he too had a feeling that someone was trying to manipulate and trap Shashi gupta in this sham. He told arnav that he was present at the questioning yesterday and there was no way Mr Gupta was lying. But due to the accusations made on him they had to keep him under observation. He promised arnav complete help and asked him to get Khushi in right away.
Arnav still had to explain the entire situation to khushi and he really needed her to remain strong during their act. This was essential for their plan to work out. No one else was to know about this. He turned towards the main door and saw her coming towards the car with his sister and grandmother looking on with sad faces. How she had become a part of their family he thought.
Khushi and arnav drove in silence to the little private air-strip. Arnav held her hand for the entire duration of the ride. Khushi spoke to Dipti on the way and explained the situation to her; she was definitely not happy that Khushi was leaving without meeting her but understood the urgency of the moment. Once the reached the airstrip they got out and started walking towards the waiting helicopter. Aman was accompanying them for the trip and was already waiting inside. As soon as they got in , they buckled up and the helicopter took off in a matter of minutes.
Khushi had ridden many time in her own company's helicopter but being in this one with arnav was very thrilling. She held his hand and turned towards him as they started ascending. Arnav saw the complete trust she had in her eyes for him and felt his gut getting tighter. He just hoped that his plan would help in clearing her and her father's name. He did not care about himself.
He tightened his hold on her and spoke “Khushi, i'm going to explain the entire plan to you now. I need you to listen carefully first and them let me know if you have any questions. Please remember that this is the only way that we can catch you uncle and Sheena.” Khushi smiled at him and nodded her head “I trust you arnav. I'll do exactly as you say” saying this she leaned in and listened intently to arnav's plan.
Mr Pandey was shocked when he got the phone call. The commissioner himself had called. Mr Pandey was to bring in Mr Gupta right away to the ACB headquarters. He was truly confused by this demand; but orders were orders. He motioned his other two colleagues to come in the house with him. They proceeded to the study where Mr Gupta was quietly pacing hurriedly. As soon as he saw the officials he literally jumped at them “Where is she? Has she been taken to your office? I need to see her” Mr pandey held his shoulders and quietly replied “Mr Gupta, please calm down. I cannot tell you much about your daughter. But we have orders to bring you in right away. Please come with us” Shashi gupta was perplexed, but he complied thinking that Khushi might be there. He nodded his head and agreed to accompany them. Mr pandey followed him out of the house and led him to the waiting car.
Khushi was nervous as hell. Arnav's plan looked solid enough but she was not fully prepared to make her father go through more hell. She looked on as their car stopped in front of a large glass and metal clad building. As they proceeded towards the entrance she saw a big emblem at the front stating 'Anti-Corruption Bureau of India' Headquarters. She looked at arnav and was dying to have him look her way with assurance in his eyes. But his eyes were cold. She wanted him to hold her hands as they walked towards the far end of the building, but his hands were clenched at his sides. She knew they had to act as if they did not know each other and Mr raizada was personally handing her over to the ACB since he thought of her to be the person behind the bribing and buying of quotes.She was finding it more and more difficult to keep up this charade. She just prayed that her father was well and hoped that their plan would work.
Arnav too was finding it difficult to hold back his feelings as they walked to the commissioner's office. He wanted to hold Khushi tightly against himself and assure that that everything would be all right. He kept glancing at her anxious face and terrified eyes. He clenched his hands at his sides to stop himself reaching out and grabbing her. His eyes reflected a cold threat towards the four people who had got them to this situation. He one again glanced at Khushi; she was looking beautiful in the jeans and peach top she wore, she had changed into her regular wear so that no one got suspicious of her drab and cheap dress. Her hair was tied loosely at her nape and she wore gorgeous solitaires in her ears; she told him how her father had gifted them to her recently. She closed her eyes for a second as if praying for something; he too prayed that everything went according to their plan.
Mr Patnaik was standing looking out of the window. This case was getting interesting by the minute. He was completely convinced of Shashi gupta and his daughter's innocence but proving it was the difficult part. When he received the phone call from Mr Raizada he was truly confused. He thought Mr Raizada would want both of them hanged for the treachery, but he was surprised when he narrated his suspicions on Kishore and Sheena gupta. He too further checked on his insistence and found out that they were indeed within India and were in touch with Ms Seth since a long time. Plus the personal vendetta Mr Jha had against ASR, made the scale tip further in Kishore's gupta side. Unfortunately they could not arrest or prove anything unless one of them confessed. He was wondering what Mr raizada had planned.
He turned around when he heard a knock on his door and a young man and a beautiful woman walked in with two other ACB officials “Good evening Mr Patnaik. I am arnav singh raizada and this here is Ms Khushi gupta, the woman you have been looking for” Mr Patnaik motioned the other two people to remain outside the door as he ushered ASR and Khushi in. As they all sat down he nodded towards ASR “So Mr Raizada, how do we go about this”
Mr Pandey took Shashi gupta to the interrogation room once again. He was asked to leave him there and wait outside. He looked on as Mr Gupta went and sat on one of the chairs at the table. He took his head in his hands and rested them against his elbows on the table. As Mr Pandey turned towards the entrance he saw the commissioner entering with a girl. He assumed her to be Ms Khushi gupta. Mr Pandey quickly saluted him and stood aside as he went inside the interrogation room with her. He was followed in by a lady officer and senior officer Mr Shetty. He closed the door quietly and leaned against it to try and make out what was being said. He was truly curious to see how this case was progressing.
Khushi entered the interrogation room with Mr Patnaik and two other people. Arnav had already discussed the plan with Mr Patnaik who was co-operating with them seamlessly. As soon as she went in her eyes traveled to a lone figure sitting at the table. Tears started flowing from her eyes as she saw her father dejectedly staring ahead with blank look on his face. She saw his head jerk up as he heard her soft 'papa'; he quickly got up from the chair and pulled her in for a tight hug.
Khushi hugged her father fiercely and was shocked to hear her fathers silent sobs. She had never seen him cry, it was surreal. She pulled away and took his face in her hands “Papa, please don't cry. I cannot see you like this. We are innocent papa, we are! I don't understand how this happened but i promise you that everything will be all right. We were never in the wrong and all this will get cleared soon. I just know it”
Shashi gupta looked up at his brave daughter, he smiled a watery smile “Thanks kiddo. I'm so glad you are well. Where have you been? I was so worried for you, but i was relieved thinking you were in delhi safe from here. These people just don't believe what we have to say. I don't know how to convince them” Khushi wiped her fathers tears as he wiped hers. They held each others hands and faced the commissioner.
Mr Patnaik had gotten emotional seeing the father and daughter reunion, but he had a plan to follow. It was not safe to let Shashi know about their planning yet. The only people who knew about it beside the three of them was Shetty. He trusted him completely and as this was his case they had to get him involved. He nodded towards shetty to take this forward
“Mr Gupta, as you know there was an accusation earlier about the buying of quotes from VBR, well there has been a new accusation towards you and daughter of bribing the MD of Edinson & Wyatt and making it look like VBR has done it. Please understand that right now this is just an accusation, but since Ms Seth has taken your name for the quotes buyout and Mr Arnav singh raizada himself has accused your daughter of not only the earlier incident but also the new one, we are afraid we will have to hold you both back here tonight. Till something substantial is not proved we have to keep you here under arrest.”
Khushi was worried as she saw her father's eyes register shock. She was worried for his health; luckily he was not a heart patient otherwise she would never had agreed to this plan of not keeping him in the loop. She saw as he quietly sat down on the chair and looked at her with murderous eyes “I will Kill Arnav singh raizada! Who the hell does he think he his accusing us further. First time in my life i was soo wrong about someone. I hope he rots in hell for this!”
Khushi quickly calmed her father down before he further cursed arnav. She could not bear him hurling such words at him but she could also not bear her father's broken spirit. She was being pulled in both direction, but she had to remain strong. She had to make it look like Arnav was the enemy here. She looked at her father and said with conviction “Don't worry papa. He will pay for this. I will make sure he does”
Mr Gupta looked at the commissioner and said fiercely “I need to talk to my Lawyer and please inform my wife” Mr Shetty nodded and asked Mr Pandey outside to do the needful. Then he and the lady officer led Khushi & Mr Gupta to the temporary cell area. As they were only being accused on suspicion they were not to be taken to the criminal ward. They were instead taken to a kind of waiting lounge with a TV and bathroom. It had comfortable chairs and two beds. On either side of the room. Mr shetty explained that they will have to stay the night here. Tomorrow the rest of the formalities would be done and their meeting with their lawyer will be fixed. Mr Shetty left locking the door behind him. Khushi took her fathers hands as they sat down waiting for the morning to arrive.
Sheena and Kishore were just retiring for the day when the call came with the much awaited news. Shyam informed them that he had got information from the ACB office that Shashi Gupta and Khushi were being held at their head quarters for both accusations. They were now officially arrested and will be taken to court tomorrow for further proceedings. ASR had personally made sure that they be given the strictest punishment there is.
Hearing this , Kishore Gupta went in and opened a chilled bottle of Dom perignon. He was waiting for this news eagerly. They were wondering where Khushi had gone missing and how much longer they would have to be AWOL . It would get suspicious if they were not available on phone after more than two days. Sheena clinked her glass with her fathers and they decided to make an appearance tomorrow morning.
Kishore took his phone and dialed Garima's number “Bhabhiji (sister-in-law) what has happened! I just saw all the missed calls and messages form you, menaka and bhaisahab. I am so sorry but we were in the bedouin district out of Dubai and our the reception there was very bad. We just got back” Sheena smiled slyly as her father acted out his concerned brother act. She looked on as he listened intently and smiled a victorious smile at Sheena confirming the arrest. He promised her aunt that they will take the next flight out and get to Mumbai. As he kept the phone, Sheena downed the rest of her glass and said “Ok pops! So when will the next flight from Lonavala to Mumbai be?” Kishore gupta laughed heartily. Finally he could get a peaceful sleep tonight. A new chapter of their life was going to unfold from tomorrow.
Arnav sat in his mumbai office cabin with aman busily working out something on his laptop. He was anxious to know about Khushi and kept calling Mr Shetty every few hours. He had sent food from a five star hotel for Shashi and Khushi but was informed by Mr Shetty that it would look suspicious if they served it as prison food; besides Mrs Garima gupta had already got food for them. He did not know what else he could do to make their stay more comfortable, if it wan't for his plan both Mr Gupta and Khushi would have been in their own beds tonight.
He felt horrible knowing they were spending the night at the ACB office, but he was assured that they were given the VIP room instead of the usual. It was nearly mid-night when aman looked up turned his laptop towards arnav “Ok ASR, as you wanted i have all the numbers of the Board of directors for Gupta group of Hotels. There are 9 of them including Mr Shashi Gupta. Mr Kishore gupta has not been sworn in as a Board member yet”
Arnav looked at the names and gave a print command. He walked towards the printer and took the numbers and addresses given on it, Aman was a bit confused “Umm..what are you doing ASR?” Arnav looked at him “Oh..i was just going to call them and if they don't pick up then i'll be going to their house to talk to them”
Aman looked at him as if he had lost his mind “ASR i know you do this impulsively and i understand the urgency but don't you think its too late to go ringing their bells? Phone or home?” Arnav looked determined “No it's never too late! I have to speak to them right away. I am quite sure that Sheena and Kishore will come in tomorrow morning. I have to talk to the board of directors before that.” Aman looked as ASR turned into some kind of a machine. He had never seen him this desperate for anything. He smiled as he realized how much his friend loved Khushi. Finally a new chapter was starting in Arnav singh raizada's life.
PS: Just for Info:
Lonavala is a weekend destination and around 2 hrs away from Mumbai
'Dom Perignon' is a very expensive champagne.