Atharv Singh Chauhan was a worried man. His only surviving family, his elder sister Aditi Singh Chauhan, was admitted in hospital, for the same reason since years. She had been immune-compromised due to the struggles of their adolescence and had been susceptible to opportunistic infections ever since. Even the best care from the experts round the world could not ensure her complete recovery.
He was a self-made man, one of the top five entrepreneurs of the country and had several companies under his name but nothing could ease his restlessness and helpless at that moment. He had not touched the zenith of helplessness even when they were dragged onto road by the most unexpected betrayals and were forced to find means to live with help of the meager inheritance they obtained from their maternal grandparents. But now as he saw his sister, his companion through the tumultuous journey, lying on the hospital bed with her pale face evoking myriads of emotions, he felt truly helpless.
The doctor on duty came for her regular rounds when Atharv stood ready to fire questions about his sister.
“Doctor, how is my Di?” asked Atharv, his voice cracking with fear of the answer he would be hearing.
" Ms.Chauhan is stable for now, Mr. Chauhan. But we cannot be sure about the future. Her immunity is severely compromised. Even the slightest of exposures will cause infections in her. She needs a lot of care and needs to take a lot of precautions for the future, Mr. Chauhan, or else repeated infections will endanger her health further,” said the doctor, slightly shaking as she was made aware of Atharv’s anger issues and his protectiveness towards his sister.
“I want the best treatment for Di. I don’t care about the cost. Make sure that she has every care provided and every precaution is taken care of. And any mistake from your end would mean that you are FIRED,” warned Atharv Singh Chauhan, proving her fears right.
“Nothing is in our hands, Mr. Chauhan! It depends on the patient’s will too. I have been hearing from her personal nurse that she had been depressed for long, it could have been the possible reason because psychological stress would reduce the immunity further,” replied the doctor, Nitya Chopra, realizing that she could not bear the burden of the consequences if something were to happen to his sister under her care.
“Then cure her depression too, Dr. Chopra! You are the doctor, you are supposed to cure her. Her depression stems from an issue in the past, a form of PTSD it is. You must be clincally trained to take care of such situations and you are trying to push the blame onto me to avoid the consequences but remember, excuses don’t work on me. She MUST be cured, do you understand?” spat Atharv, towering over her petite figure as she trembled visibly.
" Yes, of course,” muttered Nitya, carefully, as she internally cursed the devil in front of her.
Aditi had finally regained her consciousness and Atharv was eager to jump to her side and offer her water.
“How are you feeling right now, Di?” he asked, affectionately, supporting her by her shoulder as she sipped the water from the glass he was holding.
“How can I not be fine when I have a brother like you? But I seriously had lost the hope that I will see you before dying!” said Aditi with a faint smile on her face, which was due to happiness that her brother who was no less than her son, both by their significant age difference of eight years and their journey, was the sight in front of her eyes.
“Nothing will happen to you, Di! I promise!” said Atharv, hurriedly.
“Get me mint and chocolate ice cream, will you, Golu?” she asked, suddenly.
“But Di, you are not supposed eat anything cold!” he reprimanded, looking at her sternly.
“I cannot even eat my favorite foods, Golu. I cannot go out and enjoy, I cannot jump around, in short, I cannot live my life. When I cannot live my life, death does not seem far or ghastly,” mused Aditi, painfully.
“Di, don’t speak of death! I know it is very tough for you but for my sake, don’t speak of death. You are my only surviving family, Di, don’t you dare abandon me like everyone else,” roared Atharv, tears stinging his eyes, reminiscing the death of his parents which took away his childhood and everything dear to him.
“If not today then tomorrow, death is inevitable, Golu. It is the worry of leaving you alone which depresses me more everyday. Would you fulfill a wish of mine? For my sake?” asked a tearful Aditi.
“Just name it, Di!” said Atharv, stress and pain pushing him to the edge.
“I want you to bring back your wife and my sister-in-law, Golu, and complete the last thing our parents started,” requested Aditi, earning shocked looks from Atharv.
“I know that you hate her family and hate her after everything that has happened but you were best friends, you would have been a perfect match. Please give the last symbol of our parents another chance Golu, at least for your friendship’s sake or my sake,” pleaded Aditi, shedding tears.
Everyone would have been shocked to know that a commitment-phobic like Atharv Singh Chauhan was not only committed but also married but only he was aware that it was due to his resentment towards the relationship that he turned away from commitment.
“Are you kidding, Di?” asked Atharv, cocking his eyebrow, unable to accept that his sister was ready to forget their traumatizing past to respect their parents’ wish.
“Why would I do that, atleast in this situation?” asked Aditi, raising her eyebrow just like her brother.
“Because you always like to do that.”
“But not now, Golu! Now are you fulfilling your promise, Atharv Singh Chauhan, or not?” asked Aditi, who had a tired tone but the hope glistening in her eyes hit with an unfathomable force and the words of the doctor rang in his ears, forcing Atharv to take a decision he would have never dreamed of.
If it eases her worry and reduces her pain, he was ready to push himself through hell but if it meant dragging the one who dragged him to streets along with him, he would be more than eager to do it, after all, nothing motivated him like revenge did; nothing caused an adrenaline rush quite like vengeance in Atharv.
“Have I ever backed off from my promise made to you, Di? Let her be in nether or heaven, I will make her come back to me!” vowed Atharv, making a smile dance on his sister’s chapped lips, unaware of the storm which her words would cause.
“Arre Shilpa, I want to visit India. But my parents are so reluctant to let me go to India in this summer!” said Diya Singh Shekawat, the second name of life who made everyone around her smile and fall in love with her liveliness. She was aware of the dark past due to which Sujith and Shanti Singh Shekawat, her parents, were reluctant to send her to India but considered herself to be responsible enough to keep away from danger’s way and could not understand their paranoia.
“Whatever happens, Dee, this time we will visit India and we also have my cousin Kajal making arrangements for us, so there is no reason to worry. And about convincing Auntie and Uncle, leave it to me,” assured Shilpa Malhotra, best friend of Diya since she had settled in United States of America.
“I am sure that revisiting my favorite place this time would surely change my life and my parents’ perspective,” exclaimed Diya, her face lighting up with joy as she squealed in excitement.
Little did she know that the trip would indeed prove to be life-changing for her.