Watching her go down, Vikramveer’s body started to shake violently. He gripped the chain around his neck and pulled with every force in his body. The henchman holding it skidded with the impact and collapsed on the floor near his father’s feet.
He pulled at the chain holding his hands captive and instantaneously the henchman also pulled but Vikramveer’s grip was stronger than his. He was about to twist the chain around the henchman’s neck when Thakur Baldev rushed to him and took the chain from him.
The numbness settling inside Veera was welcoming but he still registered everything that was happening in front. His mind observed and gulped down every piece of the scenes ahead. He watched as Thakur Baldev lowered himself to his father’s level.
“I have been waiting for this day for so long. Killing all of you, especially you Vikramveer, is so overtly satisfying.”
Saying this Thakur Baldev along with some henchman started to pull at the chain raising his father in the air.
Veera’s senses came alive just as he saw his father’s body shaking violently as spasm after spasm hit him. And then as he hung from the top of the bar, Thakur Baldev pulled with all his might and a forceful tremor rippled through his father.
Although he saw his father’s body become lifeless, Veera couldn’t respond. Every sense of his had closed down. But his eyes still remained open as if his mind had decided that it wanted him to remember each and everything that was happening.
Thakur Baldev let go of the chain and his father’s body fell on the floor. Then he gestured to some of the henchmen who picked up his mother’s and father’s body and loaded it to the cart standing outside.
“These?” the henchman holding his sister down asked gesturing to them.
“Put them in the cart. Once we get to the forest kill the girl,” Thakur Baldev said looking at Veera.
“Burn him alive.”
He and his sister were picked up and thrown on top of their parents’ bodies. Veera wanted to touch them but couldn’t. His sister stared at him but he couldn’t do anything but stare back.
They reached deep within the forest in no time.
Thakur Baldev ordered the henchmen to get them down on the forest floor. As soon as they hit the floor, one of the henchmen took hold of his sister and placed a knife at her throat.
She blinked and looked at him.
That was the last word, which came out of her mouth as the henchman holding her dug the knife deeper and sliced through.
“Come on, we don’t have time. Pour the fuel on them,” Thakur Virendra said picking up one of the cans from the cart.
They started to pour and within seconds all of them were drenched with petrol.
Thakur Ratan struck a lighted match to the heap where his mother and father were lying.
Veera watched as the flame started to rise from the pyre. His heart pumped but he didn’t know how to react for everything inside him was dead. He helplessly watched one of the henchmen pick up his sister and shove her towards the burning pyre.
The moment he saw his sister’s dress flaming, something jerked him alive. He scrambled to her and tried to pull her away from the fire but only managed to smear his hand with her blood. He looked at his hand and screamed and instantly felt a hand clamping his mouth silencing the scream.
Suddenly Thakur Baldev raised his head and placed a finger on his lips silencing everyone.
Veera could hear faint murmurs of people coming from far behind.
Thakur Baldev quickly gestured them to take Veera away to the other part of the forest.
Veera kicked and shoved as he was picked up by the henchmen but he was powerless against all these men.
As they reached the other part of the forest something in him just sneered to life. He bit on the hand on his mouth and just as it was lowered, he screamed with all his might.
His mouth was clamped again and this time a cloth was shoved inside and a knife was placed on the throat.
As they turned the corner, he heard Thakur Ratan arguing with his father that he had dropped his knife when Veera had bit his hand.
“We can’t leave anything behind. Let’s go and find it. Bring the boy,” Thakur Baldev ordered.
But just as they turned around, they froze.
Ishi was standing staring at them just ten paces away. As her gaze locked with Veera’s, her eyes widened with realisation. Then she looked at her feet and jerked her head up at him.
Veera struggled to get the hand off his mouth but couldn’t. He looked pleadingly at Ishi willing her to help him but she just stared.
Thakur Baldev stepped right in front of him cutting off his eye contact with her.
And then they backed up along the path they had come from and reached the spot where the pyre was still burning.
The murmurs were no longer there. Other than the burning smell of flesh and crackling of the fire there was nothing.
Just as they reached a small clearing, Thakur Baldev pulled Veera’s face up by his chin.
“Now you will know what happens when you mess around with a Raijdas girl.”
“Kill him,” Thakur Baldev ordered.
Thakur Baldev jerked his head towards his son Virendra in anger.
“No buts. Kill him now. We can’t wait any longer.”
Saying this he flicked his gaze to the henchman holding him.
Veera felt the sharp edge of the knife on his throat and he closed his eyes. But suddenly he was lowered to the floor of the forest. As Thakur Baldev nodded to one of the henchmen, he saw a knife coming at him.
And for once every cell became still waiting for the deathly blow to strike him down.
The knife went through the middle of his chest choking everything and blinding him. Slowly everything started to darken around him and he gave in completely.
But something forced him to open his eyes as if his mind was trying to imprint the faces that had caused all this.
He didn’t even flinch as Thakur Baldev threw a lighted match at him.
As he felt the sting of fire on his skin, he jerked his head towards the burning pyre next to him and watched his parents and sister burn to ashes.
And the last thing he heard before all his senses gave away was Thakur Baldev’s voice saying:
“Good thing Ishani told us about the deed thing otherwise we would have lost the haveli.”