Viman stood at the doorway keeping a watch on Rudra, but not able to bear the look of agony on his face anymore, he turned away. His eyes rested on the Amar who peaked and looked at him.
“He is going to sleep till morning and maybe more. You go and get some rest. I’ll watch him.”
Viman just nodded his head as he started walking.
Amar watched Viman walk off and knew well enough the memories of that night were bombarding his mind. Without giving much thought, he opened the door of Rudra’s room and stepped inside.
He switched on the bedside light and looked at Rudra’s face. Although it was still a little twisted with pain, the initial threat was gone. He touched his forehead and felt the heat emanating from his body had lessened a little but not totally gone.
Amar knew what he needed to do; he picked up another pre-filled syringe and tapped the enclosure a little. Then he pulled the sleeve up and pushed the liquid into Rudra’s blood. Hoping that with all the tranquilisers in him Rudra would eventually go off to a dreamless sleep; Amar got up from the bed and walked over to the table nearby. Picking up the blood pressure monitor, he came back to the bed and started checking Rudra’s BP.
“Is it normal?” he heard someone ask softly from behind.
Slanting his head, he saw Girija standing near the door, her gaze flicking from him to Rudra.
Amar smiled weakly and then looked at the BP monitor.
“It’s still pretty high.”
“He is going to be okay, right?” Girija asked coming near him.
Nodding, Amar smiled a little.
“He is a fighter we all know that. He will be on his feet pretty soon.”
Girija sat down on the bed near Rudra’s head and placed her hand on his forehead.
“He has been through a lot. I don’t want him to suffer more.”
“None of us want that Kaki, but there is nothing we can do. The injections can only drug his mind temporarily, but they can never take the memories away. Nothing can take them away Kaki,” Amar said getting up from the bed.
As Amar left the room, Girija flicked her gaze from Rudra to the darkened night.
A same darkened night that had taken away everything from a boy of 14.
All those years ago, she had sat beside Rudra and watched him go through pain and agony almost every night. Sometimes she would hold him and sometimes she would sit nearby and cry helplessly.
The healing hadn’t been that easy. After they had smuggled Rudra out of the village, they had sworn the few who had known what had happened to secrecy. The fear of one of them coming in front and telling the truth had haunted them all. But gradually as time passed they realised that no matter what, the villagers were with them.
They kept Rudra hidden in Damodar Solanki’s house for months till the news had completely died down.
Girija looked at Rudra’s troubled face and sighed. Even though watching him go through this all these years, she was still not comfortable with it. Every time this happened she remembered the initial years when he would lie on the hospital bed and scream with pain and grief. Drugged too, he would whimper and cry as the memories would take a hold of him.
Girija closed her eyes as her mind flooded with the images.
Rudra shaking with fear, sweating and his flailing arms fighting the shadows.
Rudra refusing to go off to sleep in fear of seeing those figures again.
Rudra screaming in his sleep.
She would hold him every time but it would never be enough.
As the years passed, the frequency of the nightmares lessened but the intensity continued. Pravin had tried his best to treat Rudra but he could take the memories away momentarily.
It was as if Rudra’s mind did not want to forget even a single fragment of what had happened that night.
Once they moved to Delhi, Rudra took some months to adjust to the lifestyle but once he did, he suddenly changed. He suddenly grew into a man with a boiling anger in him and a huge violent streak.
Aware of the fact that he will never be able to adjust to normal school, they started his home schooling, which was a blessing in disguise. The determination they saw in him was commendable. Doggedly he emerged himself into his studies and the goal of becoming an hotelier, and before he started his further studies, he had already bought his first hotel.
And then came the darkest period of Rudra’s life.
His mafia days.
Yes, her son had been a part of the mafia. In fact, he was the mafia.
Shastri, Chinna and Arshad Bhai were his partners, right hand, whatever you want to call them.
In those years he not only established the huge empire of SGH but also became the head of this 4-member squad.
But they never really touched innocent people. They went after those people who destroyed innocence.
But after 8 years of being an active member, he suddenly separated himself from all of this. And when he moved away, he left everything from that world there.
Apart from Mayank.
Yes, even though everyone in the family believed that Mayank was a security guy, in their hearts they knew he had been a part of that elite group.
Girija got up from the bed and came and stood near the window.
Those years of pain, agony and violence had shaped Rudra in a different manner, something which nobody from the outside world would ever understand.
But Girija’s heart always trembled with fear every time she thought about Rudra taking revenge as it brought thoughts of something happening to him forth. Even though she wanted him to avenge everything that had happened, still his safety became more important than his revenge.
Her anxiety and fear had grown to such an extent that she had voiced it to Rudra and made him promise that he will not do anything.
Rudra had looked at her and said, “You want me to forget everything?”
The moment he had heard her, she had seen his face hardening and his eyes darkening with anger. And she had seen the struggle passing through the compressed nerves of his face as he had controlled himself not to say something that he will regret later.
He had said nothing and started to leave when Girija had again raised the question. Again Rudra had said nothing. Then suddenly a thought had occurred to her. Maybe he will forget about all of this if he emerged himself into his hotel business and the only way that will happen is when he has a set goal.
“Rudra the moment you built 17 hotels, you can do what you want. I will not stop you.”
“Yes 17. But no takeovers or buying. You will have to build them.”
Rudra had said nothing but had just nodded.
Girija looked at the sleeping figure and shook her head.
She should have known her son.
She had once asked her son whether he is going to kill them because even though he had promised the fear in her hadn’t gone away and it will never go away.
Standing in his room, he had looked at her and then had taken out the gun from his holster.
“I can inflict more fear and pain than a bullet. They don’t deserve death; that would be too easy. Pain is what they deserve and when it comes to pain, life is more painful than death.”