Within seconds her whole body became rigid. She clutched the phone tightly to control herself.
The call of her name jolted her out of the thought circling in her head.
“What was he asking?”
But before Subhash Gaikwad could say anything, she stopped him.
“Don’t say a word. Where are you?”
“I’m at home. What’s going on Ishani?” Subhash Gaikwad asked concern lining his voice.
“I’ll tell you everything, Subhash Kaka. I’ll be there at your place in an hour. Wait for me.”
Saying this, she disconnected the call and almost ran out of her office.
It took her more than an hour to reach Subhash Gaikwad’s place. As she went up in the lift, she kept thinking of different reasons why Rajneesh had inquired about the trust.
She exited the lift and was about to press the doorbell switch when suddenly her phone rang once again. Fetching it out, she looked at the caller ID and her heart jumped.
Hurriedly she answered the call.
“Ajeet, are you okay?”
“Di, I am fine. Are you okay?” he asked in a panicked voice.
“I am fine, don’t worry.”
“Di, I needed to ask you something.”
Every cell in her body leapt in panic hearing Ajeet. She didn’t want to tell him about why all this had happened. Most of all she didn’t want to tell Ajeet about him.
“Go ahead!” she still said, her voice almost quivering at the end.
“Am I also an owner of the Dadisa’s trust?”
Although his question stumped her, she still did not mention it.
“Yes, you are. But why are you asking?”
“Just like that,” she heard Ajeet answer.
But something in his voice raised the warning signals in her.
“What is it, Ajeet?”
“Nothing Di just checking. I am scared that’s all. Who were those people?”
Ishani moved a little away from the door and clutched the phone with intensity as if it wasn’t the phone but her brother’s hand.
“You don’t need to bother about those people. I won’t let anyone hurt you,” she reassured him.
“What happens to the trust if something happens to one of us?” she heard him ask.
His questions about the trust were becoming a bit unlike his character because her brother had never really been interested in it.
Why suddenly now?
“The other will get it and will become the sole owner. But why are you suddenly interested in the trust?” she asked in a confused tone.
“Just like that Di. Who is your heir?”
“Okay Di, I have to go now. Please take care of yourself.”
“I will Ajeet. Don’t worry about anything. Concentrate on your studies,” she said and then disconnected the call.
Even though suspicion had raised its head in her mind, still she stubbed it out and walked towards Subhash Gaikwad’s door.
But before she could ring the doorbell, the door opened.
Ishani tried to force a smile seeing Subhash Gaikwad. She stepped inside as he opened the door.
“What’s going on Ishani?” Subhash asked the moment they sat down in his study.
For the next 45 minutes, she tried her best to pour out everything that had happened.
After she had finished, he kept looking at her incredulously.
“I can’t believe this! Veera is alive!?”
Ishani nodded and then closed her eyes. That name somehow was reminding her of all she wanted to forget. Suddenly she felt Subhash clutching her hand in support.
“Well I guessed that he was,” he opined just as she opened her eyes and looked at him.
Now it was her turn to be amazed.
Looking at the confusion on her face, he got up and went to the cabinet nearby. Bringing out two cups, he walked to the small table behind his desk and poured some water in an electric kettle. He switched it on and turned.
“Your grandmother had become quite secretive by the end. Every time I met her, I always sensed she wanted to tell me something but didn’t. Now I know what she was hiding.”
“She knew?” Ishani asked, disbelief underlining her tone.
“She must have. Not much went under her nose. But the only thing that remains to be answered is how much did she actually know,” he said switching off the kettle and then pouring the hot water in the two cups.
He put two tea bags into them and then turned towards her.
“I know what you are going through. But right now more than your own woes you still have the NGO to think about.”
He handed her one of the cups and then sat down next to her on the sofa.
“We also need to figure out why Rajneesh was here,” he said taking a sip from his cup.
Ishani took a sip and tried to think of the different reasons but nothing stuck her mind.
“What did he ask you?” she asked Subhash finally.
“He wanted to know how much share does Ajeet have in the trust and what rights he had.”
Just as he finished everything swirled around her.
Was that the reason Ajeet was checking on the trust?
Suddenly everything became clear.
The cup trembled in her hand and some tea spilt over.
“Ishani, are you okay?” Subhash asked as he took it from her hand.
“Subhash Kaka, I received a call from Ajeet right before I entered your house. He was also inquiring about the trust. Now I know why.”
She stood up from the sofa and agitatedly started to walk back and forth.
“He is with Rajneesh.”
“But why would he help him?”
“Subhash Kaka, when it comes to gullibility Ajeet is the perfect example. He cannot think ill of anyone.”
“But Ishani he has seen what Rajneesh is capable of,” Subhash opined.
“He has but still he wouldn’t believe the so-called brother of ours can be worse than the definition of evil,” Ishani said and then suddenly she stopped pacing midway.
A familiar face outside the window had caught her attention. She moved a little closer to it and looked out.
Rajneesh along with Ajeet and some other men were crossing the lane just below Subhash’s apartment block.
Shock rippled through her and she stepped back from the window.
“Subhash Kaka!” she whisper-screamed.
Hearing the panic in her voice, Subhash instantly got up and reached her.
“They are here.”
“And Ajeet is with him.”
Without even thinking for a second, Subhash caught her arm and pulled her towards the door on the left of his study desk.
“Hide!” he instructed.
Just as Ishani disappeared, he picked up the cups and emptied them in the nearby sink. He was still keeping the cups back on the shelf after washing them when the doorbell rang.