“What ?!” Thakuma’s high pitched screech made even the unshakable Bondita flinch. “Are you not done tarnishing our image already? First, you ran away from your wedding, and then when you came back, you barged into Tulsipur even after knowing about our decade old enmity with them, and then you accepted that you are spy in front of everybody making people believe that to defeat Tulsipur, we can even put the life of our daughters at risk. And as if it was not enough, you want to call another Panchayat meeting and show everyone that to avoid your punishment, we had to steal you back”
“No, thakuma, I don’t want this Panchayat meeting to ruin your reputation further but to gain your pride back. Have faith on me, I can prove, those Tulsipur people wrong and prove that your granddaughter is not a spy. The punishment will be nullified if I am proven innocent, then you can walk with your head held high and your eyes won’t lower when people comment that your granddaughter ran away from punishment” Bondita explained with a gentle voice.
A frustrated Thakuma casted a glance at Bondita and was surprised seeing the determination in her eyes. She had last seen those eyes look like that when she had seen her granddaughter protect that Anirudh Roy Choudhary. Those eyes made it clear that they won’t take no as an answer.
“Do you even have any evidence? The Panchayat has convicted you once, there is no chance that they will believe if you just go and announce the truth with those eyes.” Thakuma tried in a final attempt to dissuade Bondita from this sudden craze of justice of hers.
Bondita’s expression turned calm and she looked straight into Thakuma’s eyes, “I am gold medal recipient Barrister, Thakuma. I make sure to collect evidence and proofs of my innocence before doing anything out of order. Even if you don’t trust your granddaughter Bondita, trust Barrister Bondita Das.”
Thakuma was at a loss of words. Left with no choice but to agree, she picked up the phone to call the Sarpanch. What she didn’t know that somebody on the other side was also struggling to prove Bondita innocent.
“Anirudh, the village elders have decided to let this matter slide on my insistence, but you also need to know that I agreed to freeing Bondita just because of your stubborn belief of her innocence and my affection for you. In my eyes that girl is still a deceiving and cheap spy, who did not think twice to hurt the people who had once provided her with a home” Trilochan’s voice rang across the dinner table.
“She is innocent and definitely neither deceiving nor cheap” Anirudh replied through gritted teeth.
Anirudh’s fury made Trilochan laugh. “Did you forget your lessons in London School of Law, Barrister Anirudh Roy Choudhary?? Then let me revise it to you, that girl is convicted of her crimes and until her proven otherwise she is and will continue to be considered guilty, regardless of what you think.”
Anirudh, clearly exasperated stood up and began “but, Kaka”, his following speech was interrupted with ringing of the phone. Sampoorna, tired of these arguments went to pick up the call and soon after a minute, called Trilochan saying the Sarpanch wanted to talk to him. Trilochan stood up with sense of winning and glanced with pride at Anirudh before taking the phone from Sampoorna.
Anirudh could just look on but his anger turned into curiosity watching his Kaka’s face lose its arrogance. Soon the cause of change in expression followed with his Kaka shouting “Those Krishnanagar people want another Panchayat meeting !!”
The pride in Anirudh’s eyes returned and he settled back into his chair with a broad smile on his face.
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