“Bhaiya, you know it feels so good that Anika Bhabhi is back home.” Rudra was sprawled on my bed as I sketched. It felt so good to see him there after such a long time.
Yup. Shivaay had convinced me to move back into my room. I still could not gather the courage to tell him about Ishu. Maybe I will tell Anika.
“Bhaiya, is that your phone?” A voice interrupted my thoughts.
My phone was ringing from my table. I quickly picked it up.
“Hello Om. Can you come to the hospital?” came an exasperated voice.
I got worried. What had happened? Was Anika becoming worse? “Why, what happened Anika? Are you okay?”
She grumbled something which sounded like she was cursing my brother. “I am fine. Just that your brother is not.”
What happened to Shivaay?
“Hmmm……Apart from the fact that he fainted and is now lying on a bed dazed. Nothing much.”
Shivaay fainted. I had to bite back a grin.
“Okay, come with Ramlal kaka.”
She grumbled something more then replied. “You see, your brother decided to drive us back, so he told poor Ramlal kaka to leave the car and go. So now we have no driver just a car.”
“Fine, fine….I will come. You guys wait there.” I replied.
“Well, we are certainly not going anywhere for the time being.” She grumbled back.
When I put the phone, I saw Rudra watching me.
“What happened to the Great Bhagad Billa and Panika?” He asked.
I chuckled. “Well, the great Bhagad Billa fainted. Now come we have to drive them back. We will take a taxi from here to Pearl.”
He jumped off the bed and followed. “Fainted and Bhaiya?”
I nodded. “Yup that is what your bhabhi said and she did not sound pleased.”
As we came downstairs, I saw mom going somewhere.
“Where are you both going? Do you need me to drop you?” Ma asked.
“Ma, that is great. Can you drop us at Pearl hospital?” Ma looked worried.
“Why? Who is at Pearl?” Chotima asked.
Rudra smiled. “Apka here, chotima.”
Pinky chotima looked horrified. “Lekin that is for womans right?”
I felt like howling with laughter. “No Chotima…..Shivaay took Anika to the hospital for her appointment but he is not feeling well to drive, so we will pick him.”
Then I heard a gasp. “See Pinks Moms, what that Anika is doing. Shivaay Baby was supposed to go for Lunch with me but she forced him to go with her.”
I saw Mom roll her eyes.
“Come Omru, I will drop you.”
Rudra looked ready to punch Tia as the two of them started b***cing about Anika.
“Come Rudra. We have to pick the great Oberoi that cleaned the hospital floor.”
When we reached the hospital, in the reception was an angry young woman and a dazed man.
“Aa gaye, here is your akdu brother.” Anika shouted pointing at Shivaay. She stomped off to the car and sat at the back.
“Shivaay Bhaiya?” Rudra whispered.
“She is pregnant.” Shivaay stated.
“Who? Tia. That we all know.” Rudra said. He shook his head.
He did not know. Then what was he telling yesterday?
“But yesterday, you said you knew?”
He looked at me surprised. “I thought she was sick.” He finally answered.
Before I could say anything Anika told us to come into the car. She looked annoyed.
Rudra and I helped Shivaay to the car. Rudra quickly stepped into the front. While I took the driver’s seat. Anika looked annoyed as Shivaay took the seat next to her.
“You didn’t tell me.” He whispered. She looked out of the window. Oops Bhaiya, I can see a storm coming ……..no a tornado coming your way.
It felt good to see Anika with Shivaay. But I had to keep up appearances. For my Robin.
“You are Tia ji?” Uff….Tia….Ji seriously. I turned around to see the source of the voice.
“Robin?” My Robin was here.
“Huh….Robin? Who is that Ji? I am Heera. Anika’s brother.” The man in front of me stuttered out.
No….that was my Robin.
“Tia…..” I heard Pinky aunty call me. Oh no.
“Tia Beta, why are you letting Shivaay go with that Sadak Chaap ladki. Today, when he comes back I will talk to him.”
Suddenly my phone rang. Svetlana Di was calling. “Pinks Mom, I have to take this call.”
Anika and Shivaay did not need any villains in their life, Pinky aunty was enough.
“Hello Di! How is Robin?”
“Leave that…….Anika is pregnant.”
That is great news.
“Yes Tia. Now we have a new threat. There is a heir to the Oberoi empire. Anika has serious complications, so no one will be too shocked if the child gets aborted.” With that she cut the call.
What! Abort a child? No I cannot do that. Robin would never forgive and neither can I. I have to tell Shivaay.
Suddenly, someone held my shoulder. “Don’t you dare Tia. If you do, see what I do.” Mother threatened.
No…..No….I will not let this happen.
“Chotima…..Bhabhi is pregnant.” Rudra ran into the house. Om, Anika and Shivaay were walking behind.
“Kya?” Pinky aunty stormed forward. She grabbed Anika by her arm.
“Aah….Aunty….” Anika had tears coming out of her eyes.
“Who knows whose child you are trying to put on my son’s head. You know that the media will take your side.” Suddenly Anika pulled her hand out of Aunty’s grip.
“You don’t have to worry at all. This is not Shivaay Singh Oberoi’s child and I will give this statement in whichever place you want me to.”
Pinky aunty’s face contorted into some sort of evil witch. “Oh….so, it is a Rana. Maybe that Dev Rana, the behind the scenes Rana…..now that would explain why Siddarth Vikram Rana was so worried about you.”
“Chotima, if you don’t consider Anika your bahu, it is none of your business.” Om spoke up.
“What nonsense Omkara, she is the so called Oberoi Bahu.” Tej uncle said.
Om’s face became dark. “Well, that should be none of your business, Mr. Oberoi. You are the one that had so many mistresses.”
Anika looked very upset. She rushed to Shivaay’s room and slammed the door. This attracted everyone’s attention. Shivaay ran to the door.
“Anika…open the door. Anika….” He shouted. He pushed the door and it swung open. He immediately went inside and closed the door.
“Oh my mata. My poor Tia is pregnant with my beta’s child and he is after Anika.”
Knowing that she was pregnant was a shock.
As I walked into the room, I saw her looking out of the window. The reflections from the pool made her look an angel.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” She turned to look at me. Her eyes were red. “Why would I when the child is not yours?” Her reply came in a single beat.
“DON’T LIE ANIKA!” I shouted. I could hear Rudra and Om outside the door.
“Why should I lie, Mr. Oberoi? I mean why would I? My child would become the owner of this empire then why would I lie?” She replied calmly. I tried searching her eyes but there was not a clue in them.
No….She is lying. “We will do DNA testing!” I exclaimed.
“NO. WE WON’T.” She argued.
“Anika, just keep quiet and come.”
She came towards me and glared at me. “Do you even know how dangerous DNA testing is? It could kill a child. And I will not have my child’s life put in danger for a man who is not even the Father.”
The woman in front of me was not Anika. The laughing giggling Anika I knew. The one who would crack crazy jokes and laugh at the craziest of things.
“Sid and Mallika are coming here today.” She remarked as she took her clothes out. “And I am going home with them.” She added.
“But Anika what about the deal?” I asked again.
“I don’t care.” She shouted.
“But Anika a deal is a deal. You can’t go and what about our child?”
“I don’t care about any deal and I am telling you the child is not yours.” She shouted and went to the bathroom.
“Bade Bhaiya, Sid Bhaiya and Mallika Bhabhi are downstairs.” Soumya came and told me after sometime.
Anika stepped out of the bathroom. She just brushed passed me.
I guess it’s time for the Oberois to meet the Rana heiress. I thought as I followed her. What would she do then?
When we reached the hall, I saw Sid and Mallika talking to Mom and Badima.
Sid saw Anika and got up.
“Chutki, how are you?” Mom’s face changed into a sneer.
Anika ran to him and hugged.
Mallika got up. “Ma sent this suitcase for you. She said that the clothes that you took was not fit for an Oberoi daughter-in-law and Papa said you have to fill these forms. When are you coming to the office?”
Anika looked a bit uncomfortable.
“Kyun Mallika beta, why will Anika come to the office?” Badima asked.
“Kyun Maasi…..is she busy here?” Sid asked. His face did not look happy.
Mom was about to reply when Anika spoke up.
“No Bhaiya, I am fine. Today only Shivaay took me for the appointment.”
Sid suddenly got distracted. “What did Nikitha say? I was going to call her.”
Anika’s face darkened slightly. What was wrong? “She said everything was great.”
After some chatting, Sid and Mallika got up to leave.
“Tomorrow, I will send you a car to go to the office.”
Mom opened her mouth. “Why will she come when she is enjoying here?” Her comment had an edge.
Mallika smiled. “Arre Aunty, if Anika does not come then how will she take over…”
Sid interrupted her. “The role of our event planning manager.” He completed.
Suddenly, that weird brother of hers walked into the room.
“Arre Bhaisaab, you did not tell me you were coming.” He said. “I am looking after Chutki well. You don’t worry. We are looking.”
What were the Ranas looking?
After talking to Heera for a few minutes, they left.
Anika was walking to our room when Mom cleared her throat.
Anika just walked on like she did not hear it. I followed her. She was looking at the papers Mallika had given her.
“Anika, check properly before you sign.”
Anika held up her hand. “Mr. Shivaay, I can trust them certainly more than….” She left the sentence hanging but it was clear what she thought.
“Anika, I am sorry.”
Anika got up. “Shivaay…..no amount of sorry is going to return the respect that you took from me. And you were asking me whether this child was yours. Let me clear it one final time. NO….it is not yours. It is my love’s and why am I explaining all this to you. By the way, your mother has made arrangements for me in a guest room. She said that since we are getting divorced, we might as well have separate rooms. And I am very happy about it.” With that she walked out of the room, suitcase in hand.
I knew I deserved it. But I did not know, it burned so much. But why should it? You don’t even like her, Shivaay. Then why?
Om walked into the room after she left. “She did not forgive you, did she?”
I shook my head. “Well, she shouldn’t. After all, what guarantee does she have that you are not after her because now she is the heiress to the Rana empire. She has seen you treat Tia like a deal.”
With that he got up and left.
I called Daadi. Leaving the phone in speaker, I searched my files for an important paper.
“Hello Billu.” Her voice seemed nothing like before when she lived with us.
I heard someone near the window but when I went there, I could not see anyone.
“Sid, are you sure Anika is happy there?” Mallika asked.
I was shocked hearing the question from her.
She looked out of the window. “I mean, yes I know that this is just arrangement to help the Oberois but did you see the way Pinky aunty was behaving. She never behaved like that even when I was dating Shivaay and she did not like me.”
So I was not the only one who noticed that?
“Don’t worry Jaan. We are there for her.” I squeezed my darling’s hand. I had to find out what was happening in my little sister’s life.
Suddenly, my phone beeped. It was a message from Dev.
A is hiding something. Something regarding marriage with S. T also involved. I remember.
What was she hiding? I had to find out.
I was arranging the clothes in my cupboard when Dev stormed into the room and shut the door.
“Billu is dead right?” he asked.
Yes, my Billu was dead. Mr. Shivaay Singh Oberoi killed him in a matter of 15 minutes.
“Anika, how much will you lie?”
Lie? What does he mean? I turned to face him. His face looked darker than the sky during a thunderstorm. Had someone told him about Billu?
“Why Dev Bhaiya? Why are you asking?” I turned away from him.
He strode towards me and clutched both my arms and made me face him.
“Billu is not by any chance Shivaay Singh Oberoi is it?”
I was struggling in his grasp but suddenly I stilled.
“Anika, don’t lie.” His eyes seemed to be searching mine for answers. I closed them.
“NO…..Shivaay is not Billu. Certainly not mine.”
He loosened his grip. “Anika…..I really hope you are telling the truth because if he did something and that is why you are keeping it a secret then Sid will kill him.”
I know. That is why I can’t say anything.
Finally, he left.
Then there was a knock and my so-called best friend walked in.
“Anika, why are you here?” Priyanka asked. “After Bhaiya did all this to you.”
She had a very calm expression on her face.
“Prinku, is something wrong?”
She shook her head and sat on my bed. She looked nothing like the porcelain barbie doll, I had always thought her to be. Her brothers had treated her like an angel.
“Anika, everyone is thinking about the Oberois but what about you?”
She squeezed my hand. I held her face. “Prinku, is something wrong?”
She gave me a mixed emotion smile. “Sometimes, life makes you meet the person that will complete you and teach you realities of life especially when you live in a golden palace.”
I sat down next to her. “Tell me. Did that someone hurt you?”
She shook her head. “No….But he made me understand what you are going through. And I did not even realise.”
Suddenly, we heard a shout from the corridor. We ran out.
When we came to the hall. I saw Dev Bhaiya holding Tia like she was a criminal. She looked terrified.
“Heera, leave my Bahu alone.” Pinky aunty shouted.
He pushed her onto the sofa. Tia looked scared and at the same time relieved.
“Mrs. Oberoi, she might be your bahu and all but that does not give her the right to hurt my sister.”
He slowly removed his turban and all the fake moustache.
“Robin?” Tia shouted and hugged him. But he pushed her away.
The entire hall went silent.
“It is Dev Rana, Tia Kapoor and what you did is unforgivable.”
Tia went silent. “I did it for you.”
Dev lifted her from the sofa she was sitting on.
“I told you Tia, a thousand times, I would save myself. But you hurt Anika more and more. What I saw you today, I can never forgive you for that. You were trying to kill her child giving medicines.” Everyone in the room gasped. Soumya looked ready to give Tia a punch.
I thanked god that Om was not here. He would have slaughtered her.
I was appalled. How could she do it?
“I had no choice, Robin. Mom said she would kill you and our child.”
Dev Bhaiya snarled. “Well, it would have certainly been better than this. At least I wouldn’t have to see you like this. What would your father say seeing you here today? What will I tell our child that his mother tried to kill his…”
He pushed Tia again. His eyes were filled with tears when he looked up at me.
Finally Pinky aunty stepped forward. “What are you saying? And what are you doing in our house?”
Dev walked towards Pinky aunty. He was towering over her.
“Aunty…..Tia Kapoor……are you all Oberois living under a rock? Your son was dating her for 3 years and you did not know that she was married? You did not know that her family is bankrupt. You did not even know that she has 2 sisters: Svetlana and Romi? Did your security even try to find out, who was after your life? You did not even know that your darling nephew is married?”
I heard a gasp. I saw the brothers standing near the door. Om was shocked while Rudra looked scared. Soumya too looked tensed. Shivaay was not with them. Pinky aunty had just sat down to the sofa.
“Dev…..” Tia whispered.
Dev shook his head. “Tia, I have nothing to say to you. I need you to sign these papers. The police have taken your family to jail based on the evidence of your fraud.”
She picked them up and she looked shocked. Her face started to crumble. She looked broken. I slowly climbed down the stairs. Yes….I agree….She had tried to kill my children but…she was doing it for her own.
Dev held his hand up. “No Chutki….not a word. Sid is coming.”
Oh no….he knew.
Tia finally signed the papers. “Dev, please.”
But Bhaiya looked away as the Police officers took her away. Then he finally turned to me. I felt the temperature in the atmosphere go down by a few degrees.
“Why did you not tell us?” he shouted. Tej Uncle, Shakti uncle and Jhanvi aunty walked in from the study.
Before I could say anything, I heard a car come to a screeching halt. Then I heard rapid footsteps and in walked my elder brother looking like a lion ready to gnarl his prey into bits and pieces.
“Shivaay Singh Oberoi!” He hollered. At the same time, he was glaring at me.
Where was Mallika Bhabhi?
Daadi had yelled at me. She was disappointed in me. Daadi and I walked back to the house to see Siddarth storm into the house. Then he hollered for me.
Daadi shot me a look. We quickly went into the house.
As soon as I entered. I saw a new man standing in front of Anika and she looked scared. But the next moment, I was held by my collar.
“How dare you hurt my sister? You thought she tried to take your property? You did not do it to save Om, you did it to prove that you are stronger than her.” Siddarth shouted. He then punched me. But I did not fight back.
“Did you really think Anika could take your property? You thought that she had no surname. Why not? An easy punching bag. You let that Tia take her rights away as your wife. Rights that you did not even give her in the first place. Your family can be forgiven but you?”
And it was true. I knew she could not take my property.
He punched me again. Om was and Rudra just watched. For once, Rudra stared at me and there was no hope or respect in them. The new man was holding onto Anika’s hand as she stood silently looking at the ground. I could see tears streaking her face.
“She loved you for god’s sake. You know what she told me that it was Billu’s child. And that Billu had died. But he was dead, he was murdered by you. I promise you Shivaay Singh Oberoi that by next week, Oberoi empire will be just a name in history.”
The man pulled Anika gently.
“Where are you taking her?” Badima asked.
Dev gave her a disappointed look. “Maasi, we are taking Anika Vikram Rana back to where she belongs. Clearly that is not here.”
Mom and Tej uncle looked shocked.
With that Dev and Anika followed their elder brother back to the car.
Jhanvi left to her room. Om went to his room followed closely by Soumya and Rudra to their rooms.
Mom followed Dad as he stormed to his room. Finally it was just me and Priyanka. The hatred with which she looked down at me from a top the stairs hurt.
Billu’s Child? My Child! I knew it. My Anika can never cheat me.
As I sat in the hall, I almost felt like a goat being taken for sacrifice. Mallika was resting in the room but the rest of the 2nd generation Rana family was sitting in the family study.
Siddarth was pacing in the room. Dev was perched on the sofa while Naina and Jia were whispering among themselves.
Siddarth was not even talking to me. When we had reached home, he had told all the parents to never ask about my life as an Oberoi.
Finally, Sid looked at me.
“Tomorrow, you will join the Rana office……” He finally decreed. “As the head. Dev and I will be doing the administrative work. Jia will help you to learn the reigns.”
He lifted his hand cautioning me to stop. “Anika, I am so disappointed that I had to find out things from the detectives and Dev. I thought…..”
As he spoke my phone rang. It showed “Rudra Calling”.
I picked the call. Qudra never called this late at night.
“Anika, is Shivaay at the Rana mansion?” Om spoke through the phone.
“No Om. Why? What happened?”
He kept silent. My heartbeat started to quicken.
“What happened to Shivaay?”
Everyone in the room was watching me.
“He left Anika. He just left. He took nothing.” He replied slowly.
I felt like the ground was going to swallow me.
2 months later
“Anika, I am leaving Adi and Ayu in the crib.” Mallika said as she rushed to her meditation class. Siddarth said something about improving her inner peace.
“Is Dev Bhaiya driving you?” I asked.
She nodded and walked towards the door then stopped.
“Take your meds. Eat before I come home.” She said sternly. I nodded.
Suddenly, my phone rang from my table. I did not even have to look who it was.
“Haan Jia Di. Yeah…..How is Naina di? You guys having fun. Haan I will take the medicines.”
Finally after talking to her, I returned back to my papers. Being the head was not easy. Then my door opened. I rolled my eyes.
“Yes Bhaiya, I remember that I have to take my meds. I will once I am done with this paper.”
Siddarth came into my office.
“You remember the lunch meeting right?” He asked.
He picked up Adi and Ryu sat down next to me. “Ani, if I did not have to take these two munchkins for their vaccines. I would have attended the meeting with you. It’s been a long time since I saw.”
I smiled. “It is okay Bhaiya.” We walked to the window and watched as our guests got out of the car.
“How much has he grown?” Sid Bhaiya whispered.
I nodded. “You know Bhaiya….”
Before I could complete my sentence my assistant, Kiara came into the room. “Madam, they have reached. Maya and I have got him seated.
I nodded at Bhaiya, kissed my sleeping nephews and followed Kiara.
When I entered the dining room in the office, all the noise stopped.
“Miss. Rana….” Their CEO and Wife got up. As soon as the door closed,
I smiled. “Arre….Rudra…since when do you call me Miss. Rana?”
Rudra’s formal smile suddenly turned into a sad smile. “Bha…Di, I thought that now we are business partners, you….”
I ruffled his hair. “Di…My hair.” he screamed like the Rudra I knew.
We sat down. “How are my future nieces or nephews?” He asked with a grin. Soumya smiled.
Yup, The Ranas did not destroy the Oberois. I mean how could they when a poor unassuming boy had been handed the key with no idea what to do.
Om had gone in search of Shivaay. He flew around the globe wherever they got signals or clues. So while I struggled to be a Rana, Rudra on the other end struggled to be another Shivaay. Soumya had another level of struggle. She had been thrown into the lion’s den of high-life ladies as Rudra Singh Oberoi’s wife. She had lost weight and looked exhausted.
“How is the charity function planning coming about?” I asked. I had heard Mallika grumbling about how she had to save Soumya from the evil witches at the meeting.
My brothers kept me away from such events. They said it was too risky in my state. They said that business stress was more than enough.
“Di….when are they due?” I acted horrified.
“Soumya, it has only been 5 months. I have another 4 more months.” Soumya smiled. she had ignored my previous question. So I decided to ignore the question as well.
“And how is Ayu and Adi? When can we see them again?” Soumya asked.
I smiled. “Well, tomorrow you can come.”
Soumya nodded. “Di, I will just go to the washroom.”
As soon as she left, I turned to Rudra. “Any news?”
He shook his head. “No Di. Om went to London but even the branch there has no idea.”
I smirked. London….well I knew someone who was there.
When Saumya came back, we talked about the new business deal and then they left.
The media speculated about the missing Shivaay Singh Oberoi. Rumours were that he ran away when he realised that Tia was a fraud. Meanwhile, the media also speculated about the closeness of the Oberoi heirs, Me and Rudra. We decorated every gossip column with pictures of dinners, parties etc. This was mainly because the rest of the Ranas and Oberois stayed away from each other including the sisters, Jeevika Rana(Dev and Jia’s mom) and Jhanvi Oberoi. The children were also celebrities even before they are born. Even their cousin, Ayush Dev Rana was in the news. But no one had the guts to ask the Ranas or their princess a single question.
Author’s note: With this post, I will be missing for 3 weeks. I am travelling out of country and will have no time to update. Shivaay will appear back in story very soon. Probably an episode or two later.
By the way, I wanted some name suggestions for the Oberoi twins as well as whether you want them to be same s*x or different.