‘Have you shown it to anyone else?’ father was sweating profusely, maybe this was the right thing we were searching for!
‘No! You think so?’
‘Thank God. Give it to me, give me the phone’ father tried to snatch the phone from my hand.
‘Hell NO! I will never give you the phone!’ I screamed back.
‘You don’t understand what you have. It’s a bomb in your hand and it has a potential to kill you too! Give it to me.’ father got up, in a serious mode.
‘I said no. I don’t trust you at all, what if inside you are double-crossing me?’
‘I’m your father, how can you say that?’
‘Exactly! A father who suddenly appeared when a Hindu-woman joined a purely Muslim party. A father who came out, only when his entire family died and his daughter was planning a revenge on his new found family.’
‘Shut up Kavya! You don’t know what you are saying, it’s pure rubbish. I love you.’
‘But I don’t. And I’m not giving you this phone. Never.’ I got up and walked out of the café.
‘Kavya…’ father shouted behind me.
I turned around, and he was holding a gun. A small gun, powerful enough to kill me in a stroke. I wasn’t shocked. I rather expected this somewhere. I knew that the man who never gave a dime to his family, would turn against his daughter too. And the man who had now established a new family, and was earning good, living well, will never go back to his previous one just for the sake of one alive daughter.
‘Shoot me’ I said, ‘Come on father, end it. Just pull the trigger.’ Silently I picked up his mobile phone from the table.
‘Don’t make me do it, Kavya, give me your phone.’ he stretched out one hand.
‘I said I’m not giving you the phone. Do whatever you want to. Shoot me and kill me if you want to…’ I slid his phone in my jeans-pocket.
I was at 10-15 feet distance from him, but the distance was still not enough to prevent the bullet from hitting my body. I could still see his fingers curling around the trigger, and exerting pressure on it as I was distancing myself from his sight. He finally pulled the trigger, and I bent down in a nanosecond. The bullet missed me by a few centimetres. I thought that the old-man might be out of sight, but he was instead shooting like a pro. Within seconds there was a stampede in the cafeteria and people were running around like crazy. I ran too. Taking advantage of the rush and the crowded streets, I ran from the narrow lanes to the insides of the city. I decided not to enter my home today. When even the one person who took my side, used me for his personal benefits, I didn’t know who to trust.
Now I was doubting his claims too. Whether or not Abbas was his son, or he made up everything just to bring himself in my trusted people’s list. It was all so confusing now. I missed mother so much. If she was there, I didn’t have to worry about anything at all. She would handle all the problems and difficulties and she would just ask me to be fearless and brave. But instead I’m scared now. Scared to even breathe, because who knows what may happen the next moment?
Father’s phone rung from my jeans pocket. I usually never picked up the unknown numbers, but now that nobody of my ‘known’ ones was left alive, I thought to take the call.
‘Kavya Shukla?’ a heavy voice spoke.
‘Surrender yourself, we know what you have, and if you stop being over-smart, you have yourself a very good deal.’
‘We will give you ten crore rupees, surrender yourself, give us the phone and you are free to go.’
‘Who are you?’
‘We are the right people for you.’
‘Yeah, everyone is right for me right now, but who are you?’
‘We are speaking from Zakir Hamidi’s office.’
I disconnected the phone, and immediately headed towards Afzal’s home. If there was someone who would help me even a fraction, it was him. After all, I was going to be a milestone to his political career.
After half an hour, I reached outside his residence and requested the security to let me in. After pronouncing my name through the microphone, the door was immediately opened and I was greeted by a few men who led me to Afzal’s private chamber inside his home, where Afzal was sitting along with his younger sister – Yasmin.
‘Yasmin, you go out for a while, let me talk to the woman’ he instructed his sister to leave as he saw me enter.
‘I will not ask you where were you or why did you run away. I can understand that you might have your own reasons. I just want your side of the story – start.’
I could sense his anger and disgust. I was his responsibility after all, and what I did brought shame to him, and his image too. In the next one hour, I told him everything – from Abbas being my half-brother, to my father pointing a gun at me to Sana and Zakir having an illicit on-going affair behind Yusuf’s back. I even showed him the video.
‘What the hell is this?’ Afzal was stunned. He obviously didn’t expect his sister to be in a relationship with his cousin. His head might be spinning as he was pressing his temples with his forefingers.
‘Are you alright, Sir?’ I gulped.
‘I can’t believe it. All these years she was showing herself to be on my side, she was financing my party, and this? What a…I can’t even abuse my own sister!’ Afzal was on the verge of an emotional-breakdown.
‘Sir…’ I offered him a glass of water from his table. He swallowed it in one go.
‘My father was never like my uncle. He always taught us values, importance of relationships, he always taught us to be generous and humble, and now I can’t imagine Sana to be my sister anymore. Such a whore she is!’ And he finally broke down. He signalled me to leave him alone and I left.
Afzal called me in his office after one hour again, he was fine now. Meanwhile, I was left with Yasmin in her room full of awkwardness. In that one hour, I couldn’t help but notice how different the two sisters were. One was pure evil and the other – pure angel. She cooked food for me, and showed me her favourite books and novels. She was such an intellect, that she seemed so out of place – born in a political family, raised by a brother – she seemed more like an English maiden, who would be raised in a family of laureates and knowledge-bearers, and not a ruthless political family like her own.
‘Are you alright, Sir?’
‘Yes, I am. And I am leaking this video. It’s disgusting I know, but not as disgusting move as Sana made. This video needs to be in every Kashmiri’s mobile phone, who think that Zakir is the right heir to the chair of chief minister.’
I was staring at him blankly. His blood red eyes spoke more, than him at that moment.
‘I swear, I will destroy both of them, even if I have to die now. I can’t tolerate such a big infidelity!’
‘Sir, you are no good, dead. You have a young sister – Yasmin. Who will take care of her if you die? It’s better that if you plan something and somehow get them behind the bars, instead of getting killed and making your sister Yasmin vulnerable to all the hungry butchers.’
‘Hmmm…you are right. It’s time to act now. Elections might be over, but the game is still on…’