I was still shocked, and hurt. The family I wanted to kill in the most horrible and brutal manner, was related to me in the most unimaginable way! I was plotting against my half-brother. Abbas Hamidi was my half-brother. This fact was sure going to make me lose my sleep for next couple of weeks, I knew. I cleaned my face, washed away the tears and walked out of the restroom. My father was sitting on the table with his head in his hands, trying to hide his tears from mine. I then realized how pathetically hopeless and helpless we both were. I was killed in the bomb-blast last month, and he was killed 15 years ago, and I couldn’t do anything to bring any of us back.
‘I’m sorry, but this is the truth.’ he said.
‘I can’t forgive you, but then, not forgiving you wouldn’t help me either. I want to kill them, the Hamidis, all of them, and that includes your illegitimate son too!’
‘Please…’ father broke down again. Maybe he wasn’t happy with his son.
‘I know what I did was a crime, but if you were in my place…’
‘Tell me one thing, just one thing. Why did you convert yourself? And did Hussain never found out about you and his wife?’ I wanted to have my answers tonight.
‘Nadira had a forceful conversion. She said she wasn’t going to poison herself by being with a Hindu-man, so she asked me to convert.’
‘And you did?’ I felt so angry.
‘If I wouldn’t have done it, she would have killed you all!’ he shouted.
‘I wasn’t only converted, but admitted into Hussain’s house-staff too, so that I was accessible to her all the time, and Hussain never found out.’ he sighed.
‘What if he does? You think you would be saved?’
‘Nadira is dead since ten years now. Abbas was hardly five when she had a stroke and Hussain himself is fighting with cancer since two years. God knows what Zakir and Abbas are doing to keep him alive!’
‘And how did you plan to help me kill them all?’
‘I know you joined Zakir’s office. I still am working in their home, I know everything that goes within and outside. Hussain and his sons trust me like a friend. I’m just so deeply intertwined that I can’t come out of this web, or even reveal my real identity. Zakir doesn’t know that I’m a Hindu, and neither does anyone else. The secret died with Nadira. But he does know that you are a Hindu and very soon, your head will be up on a spike, something I can’t tolerate! He is just inactive because elections are hardly a few weeks away and he can’t create a controversy by killing a Hindu member of his party! I can’t tolerate your death, I just can’t…’
‘I love you Kavya, why don’t you believe me? Otherwise I wouldn’t have risked my life in meeting you here tonight.’ his voice cracked. I believed him for a moment.
‘So, what do you want me to do? Quit his party?’
‘No. Just be there for a few days, I’ll do something and help you get in touch with Afzal and his sisters. They are good people.’
‘Hamidi cousins? Afzal, Sana, Yasmin? No, thanks father. I’m happy the way I am.’
‘No, Kavya…listen to me. You don’t know what goes on inside. Zakir is an evil man! Afzal is evil too, but way less. It’s better to stay with a less-evil man, than being friends with a pure-evil shit. I will hatch out some plan, and somehow convey it to Afzal that Zakir is about to kill a Hindu girl of his party, and I’m sure Afzal will make a controversy out of it and offer you protection to gain sympathy. This is the best time to do it because elections are on the head. Once the elections are over, we won’t have any options in our hand!’
‘And you think this plan will work?’
‘One hundred percent! I’m sure Sana will be happy to keep you at her house, I’ll tell her later that you are my daughter, just won’t reveal that I was a Hindu.’
‘Will you really tell her that? So, you want to portray me as your bastard-daughter to Sana, so that she keeps me out of sympathy! You want to victimize me and showcase that you had illegal relations with a Hindu woman, who birthed me and died in bomb blasts last month, and I’m your illicit child who needs protection and care? Thank you very much, father. That’s it.’ I got up, but he held my hand.
‘No, listen please. Right now, this is the only way to protect you. Being with Zakir and his family is way too dangerous, but I’m sure Sana and Afzal will keep you alive. That’s my priority Kavya, please try to understand. Even if I have to convert you to keep you alive, I will do it!’
‘That’s all father, you said it. You are such a disgust! You can convert yourself, but I’m now such a lowlife, just let me go, please!’
‘You can’t understand what a father feels for his daughter. Even if he has to give away his life to save his child’s, he will do it. You just don’t care, Kavya. You think I never cared about you? I did, I always did. I always kept an eye upon you and my entire family, even though I wasn’t living with you anymore. Your mother regularly got a share from the money I earned. I never left anyone of you alone, never child!’
‘Then why have you returned now? Just stay behind the stage for the rest of your life, father!’
‘You still are being adamant, Kavya. I need to protect you. The bomb-blasts were an accident and I was unaware. Otherwise I would have signaled your mother not to go anywhere that day. I lost my family and when I realized that you were alive, I couldn’t hold myself back anymore. I had to come forward in order to protect you. It’s a suicide-mission that you are planning on your own. Please don’t do anything stupid, it can cost you your life. And once you are dead, everything will be gone. You can’t revenge your mother’s death by dying, can you? Your dead body is useless! Please don’t be stupid, Kavya. Not right now…’
‘Alright, I get you. Do whatever you want, and make me quit this corrupt-party. I will be happy to work for the other Hamidis. I will obey you, father. For this one last time.’
‘Thank you Kavya, you don’t know how much you have relieved me today, thank you!’ father got up and walked out wiping off his tears. I walked behind him, hired a rickshaw and reached my home.
In a way, father was right. I needed to stay alive to avenge my family’s death, my dead body was useless anyways and Zakir was no doubt one hell of a smart-ass. Afzal on the other hand, was an opportunist and was way less cruel than Zakir. At least he had no murder or rape cases going on against him. I decided to go with father’s plan for now. It seemed simpler and effective.