Sunday, April 12, 2009


Philoo & Grace finally decided to leave their parents house. Grace elder sister of Philoo thought that it would be better to live alone rather than to live on the mercy of their brother & sister in law Margaret. Philoo & Grace were brought up in a middle class educated Catholic family of Goa. After their parents death Philoo & Grace had lot of conflicts with their sister in law Margaret for petty things. As both the sisters were highly qualified they migrated to Bombay in 1975 for a good job. Grace took a small house on rent in Dadar & both the sisters started living together. Grace suggested Philoo ....that she should remain at home & do the house hold work & Grace her self will do a job . Philoo smilingly agreed to it. For months both lived happily , Grace used to go for work & Philoo used to do the house hold task. However after some months Philoo realized that Grace had started dominating her like a boss but she kept her self cool thinking that may be because of work load Grace is behaving so. Philoo at times suggested her elder sister for wedding but Grace said that first they should have enough money & than she will first get Philoo marry & than she will tie a knot.

Like a blink of an eye two years passed but Grace never thought of marriage. Philoo through out the day used to remain at home & she used to feel very lonely as she did not have any relatives . in Bombay . On one day Philoo bought a Parrot & brought to her home. The Parrot used to speak. As Philoo had lot of love for birds she bought a pair of love birds . As Grace had no objection , Philoo got a Hen too. By now Philoo's house has turned into a mini zoo ,she had Parrot , Love birds & a Hen . Who ever goes to Philoo's house the Hen used to fly & sit on Philoo's shoulder but the bitter part was that Grace did not realize that Philoo was feeling very alone .One day Philoo decided to take up a part time job but Grace did not allow her & asked her to do only the house hold work.

Finally after 5 years there was a blossom of Love in Grace's life. Grace was now 38 & Philoo was 34 . Grace fall in love with her colleague Peter. Peter was 40 & he was working with Grace for last 6 months. Peter had lost his parents . Peter used to visit Grace daily & than in the evening they used to go for outing . Sometimes Peter had dinner with Grace in her home & Philoo used to enjoy cooking for Peter . Philoo was very delighted with Grace & Peter's relationship . On one May Sunday they even exchanged the rings. Grace was very happy , both of them started looking for a house so that they can enjoy their married life in that new house. Every thing was going perfectly fine in Grace's life but one day Peter asked Grace to lend some money as he needed urgently for some work . Thinking that he is her would be she gave him a huge sum of money which she has earned in 5 years of time in Bombay.After taking the money from Grace , Peter did not go to office for few days . Grace started feeling lonely , She contacted Mack , who was a neighbour of Peter . Mack said that Peter had gone to Dubai for a new job. Grace believed in her love & thought that after getting a good job he will take her to Dubai . However Peter did not contacted Grace for one whole year. In this long period Grace did not concentrated on her work much , she remained upset . When ever Philoo used to ask Grace about Peter she used to give some excuses but did not tell her that he has taken money from her.

Eventually the day came when Grace had to face the reality of life ...her dream house broke like anything when she heard from Mack that Peter is now well settled with his wife Marry in Dubai. Grace broke from within , she had not only lost her love & trust but money too .Grace became very pessimistic .For even small things she used to scold Philloo very badly at times she even used throw things. Philoo became frightened of Grace , she stopped discussing her problems & her daily activities with Grace . Instead she started talking with birds , " Oh my dear Parrot your life is much better than me at least there is some body who looks after you . You have at least friends but I have no body around me ". Both the sisters started looking very gloomy & aged. Grace used to come to home in evening had her dinner & used to go to sleep . She did not even bother to ask Philoo how was she ? , does she need anything ? . In this way few moths passed . Philoo because of stress was not able to sleep properly in night . Some times she had to take sleeping medicines. One night Philoo heard somebody knocking at the door . She got up from her bed & look at the clock , it was 4.00 am . She was surprised , she heard the knocking sound thrice . Philoo slowly slowly got up from her bed , she was very frightened but still she opened the door & peeped out but to her shock there was no one outside . Philoo shut the door & went to Grace , she pulled her hand & tried to wake her . Grace woke up & asked what was wrong with Philoo , why she was disturbing her in night . Philoo with fear said that she heard somebody knocking at the door. Grace without giving much importance to Philoo said that she must be dreaming & she again went to sleep. Philoo was sweating because she believed on her ears. She did not sleep that night . Te next morning when Grace was getting ready for her office , Philoo requested Grace to be with her that day because she was feeling very afraid but Grace refused her & said that she should go to sleep. Philo remained all alone at home she did her house hold work as usual . In the evening Grace came home she had her dinner & again went to sleep . Philoo too went to sleep because she had not slept for last two nights.

Philoo was sleeping but around 4.00 am she heard somebody knocking on her window . As soon as she heard the knocking sound Philoo hairs stand on their end, she was trembling with fear. Philoo covered her face tightly as if she wanted to hide herself. For few minutes she remained like this but than she realized that somebody was pulling her blanket & Philoo screamed ' who is there , who is there ' . Grace said " Philoo have you gone mad , you will die you have covered your face so tightly with this blanket & how will you breathe in ". Philoo calmed her self , she removed the blanket from her face & with fear said , " that she heard somebody knocking on the window , so she covered her face " . Philoo's room window used to open on the main street. Grace on hearing this became more angry, she said that you have become Psychic , there is no one .Come with me I will take you to the window .No sooner Philoo heard that she was becoming Psychic , Philoo cried loudly , she said that , " Yes I am becoming Psychic & all because of you . You have caged me , Margaret was better than you . You do not want to marry & you do not allow me too " . On hearing this Grace too screamed , " She said you do not know men are frauds they play with women's emotions & if she still wants to marry she can go ahead but she will also find a person like Peter who will deceive her ". When Philoo heard that Peter was a fraud , she calmed down & politely asked Grace about Peter. Grace with her hand on her fore head said that Peter took away all the cash from her & got settled in Dubai with his wife . Philoo without asking anything further hugged her sister & said that Peter was a fraud but all men are not like him but Grace did agree to it & said that Peter was the first & the last man in her life.

Philoo thought that with time Grace's wounds will heal & she never fought with Grace for money but Grace became frustrated , she had started smoking & drinking . Grace used to behave rudely with every one & especially with children , she did not like children playing outside her house . One day she took away a bat of a boy & did not return him for a month . The boy used to request for the bat every day .Grace was now 44 & Philoo was 40 . At the age of 44 Grace looked like 55 year old woman . Throughout the day Grace used to grumble , people at her office tried to avoid Grace .Philoo was not aware of the fact that Grace had not paid the house rents since very very long time , Philoo too had become very reserved & mostly she used to remain in her own world. Unfortunately one day Philoo's parrot died & because of this Philoo became very upset . She stopped cooking , bathing , cleaning house & even combing her hair . Throughout the day Philoo sat in a corner with a parrot's cage , looking at her Grace became more angry . She started coming late in night .Philoo for a many days did not eat . On one afternoon Philoo opened her house door & as usual sat on a wooden chair with the Parrot's cage on her laps . That day Philoo fall sleep & taking the advantage of the situation , a neighbour's servant entered her house & thought to take away a Parker pen which was kept on Philoo's reading table . This Parker pen was gifted to Philoo by her father . The servant was about to run with the pen but the Philoo's Love birds started chirping very loudly & Philoo woke up. She saw the servant in her house . Philoo shouted loudly & as a result of which her neighbours gathered & the servant was unable to run . All the neighbours slapped the servant & asked him to give her pen back . The servant cried & said that do not beat me more I do want to take this pen but actually I was asked by the owner of Philoo's house to harass Philoo & Grace when ever he gets the opportunity. The owner had given me 200 Rs for that. She told me that for last two years Philoo & Grace had not paid the house rent & after reminding several times , Grace is not paying the house rent . So the land lord wants to vacant the house from Grace & Philoo.

When Philoo heard this her head bent down with shame , she had never thought that Grace had not paid the house rent. Philoo with her head bent down asked all the neighbours to leave the servant alone. Philoo went inside her house , she closed the door tightly & stood behind the doors. She than cried loudly & cried till her eyes completely dried . Philoo remembered her past & those days when she used to live proudly in a grand house of her father. Suddenly Philoo heard a voice from within , saying that it is better to die instead of living a life on others mercy . She thought that she will not depend upon Grace . Philoo washed her face , looked in the mirror . She saw her self in the black coat & with her Master's degree in her hand . Philloo had done Masters in Science & so she thought that it will be good if she takes up tuitions of 8th to 10th Standard students. Philoo that day did not cooked food for the two , when Grace came to home in the evening , she asked Philoo for the food but Philoo said that forget about food & first tell me why have you not paid the house rent . Grace said it is none of your business to ask me , I will pay it & you do not have to bother about it. Philoo in reply said that ok . I have decided to work & I will pay my share of the house rent . Grace said you will not going to work , Philoo replied I have not asked for your advice or permission. Both the sisters had a big argument that day & the conclusion of the argument was that none of them will interfere in each others work.

Philoo from next day started working on her mission , she made many hand pamphlets & distributed in the her building & also in adjoining buildings. She even did mouth publicity . For 15 days she did day & night effort in getting students. During this period she went out of her house , dressed properly , met new people & even made some friends. Philoo started feeling better , now she did not get time to remember her dead Parrot & even did not bother to look at other birds. She was also managing the house too . Fortunately her toil did not go in vain , Philoo got two students of class 8th for science coaching after a month.Philoo was very delighted , her joy knew no bounds.She wanted to share her success with Grace but she did not because of Grace's rude behaviour .The two students used to vist Philoo's house in the afternoon time on every alternate day . They liked Philoo's way of teaching & also admired her nature.Philoo too enjoyed the company of her students & started forgetting her past. Grace was neither happy nor sad with Philoo's work because she realized that Philoo was managing the house efficiently although she is teaching her students.Like this 6 months passed , Philoo every month used to give her share in the house rent & she even opened a small saving account of her own in Punjab National Bank.However Grace was like before in her attitude & behaviour but had become very weak. Grace was smoking minimum three cigarettes in a day.Philoo was not aware that Grace had started smoking . She thought because of frustrations Grace is losing her health.

It was a rainy day & because of the heavy rains Grace took a leave from her office & preferred to stay at home . That day for the first time Grace asked Philoo to relax & Grace on her own cooked the food for both. To Philoo's surprise , Grace even cleaned the house & the biggest thing was she asked Philoo about her students & how she was doing with them . Grace even enjoyed watching children playing football in the rains. Philoo was amazed because Grace hated children & she never liked children playing outside her house. Grace also told Philoo that in this vacation she will take Philoo to Goa . On hearing this Philoo hugged grace tightly because from the day Philoo had come to Bombay she had not gone back to Goa & in fact she had not gone to any where out of Bombay. Philoo looking at the drastic changes in Grace thanked God & said , " Oh ! Jesus please keep Grace always smiling. Since Philoo's student were about to come for the tuitions , Philoo went to dress properly & Grace went in her own room for an afternoon nap. Philoo's students came & as usual she thought them for 2 hours. When the students left for the day , Philoo got up & went inside the kitchen to prepare tea . She than took a cup of tea for Grace & asked her to have tea but Grace did not replied . Than Philoo, " Grace please have your tea it is getting cold ". Grace did to replied . Finally Philoo kept the cup on the side table & pulled Grace's blanket from her face , Philoo screamed loudly as she saw Grace eyes were open & they were looking upwards. Grace body was cold, without wasting any time she called one of her neighbours.Mr. Patil looking at Philoo said that you should call you relatives as soon as possible because Grace is no more. On hearing this Philoo turned pale , she never thought of this moment in her life , although Grace & Philoo argue but Grace was the only person in Philoo's life.

Philoo did not had telephone in her house , she called her brother in Goa from a neighbours house & told about the tragic end of Grace . Philoo's brother on hearing this said that for him Grace & Philoo are dead from the day when they left Goa & he shut down the phone. Philoo broke completely , she was unable to think for a while & did not believe that her brother Victor can say so. Philoo than thought to contact Jennifer ( Grace's colleague ) . Jennifer too did not give much importance to Philoo she said that , she will inform in the office about sudden Grace's death. Philoo was left all alone , She than called up in the Church & after an hour the church people came . Accept for few building people there was no one present during the crimination of Grace. Philoo came back to home , she was totally blank because every thing happen all of sudden . For days Philoo went without food , she was missing Grace. At times she felt that Grace has come back & some times she felt that Grace was arguing with her. Philoo stopped teaching , her students used to come but she used to send them back , after a month they stopped coming on their own .Philoo got a letter from Grace's office . Since Grace had worked for several years in the office after her death Philoo started getting Grace's pension . She used to get around 400 Rs per month as pension . Philoo now remained at home she felt very very isolated in the world . She did not had money & what ever she has earned got over in 3 months. Through out the day she cried & went without food . As a result of which Philoo's eyesight became weak. She became very thin & as she was very tall because of loss weight she appeared like a skeleton . Her eyes had sunk , her cheek bones came out , her hairs became sparse . Within a year Philoo looked more than 60 years. Actually her brother , Victor's words broke her more than Grace's death. For Philoo life was burden . In the night she did not on the light but just lit few candles & used to sit all alone with that. Since she was not eating properly she developed some brain problems . Philoo had hallucinations. She started imaging her self as a married pregnant woman. Philoo behaved like a pregnant woman & she asked people to give her food to eat . She at times put a pillow on her stomach & ask people to take her to hospital for the delivery . Day by day Philoo's mental heath was deteriorating . She used to ask neighbours for a glass of milk , an egg etc & when people used to refuse her , she became angry & used to curse them.

Philoo's plight was horrible. I was 15 & my parents bought a flat in the building where Philoo used to stay . When I saw Philoo for the first time my hairs stand on their end. She was looking like a ghost . In the morning when I was going to school I always used to see her standing in the common passage of the floor & I used to run away from her. For hours Philoo kept standing for no reason in the common passage of the building , every new visitor in the building was shocked to see Philoo . Philoo looked horrible. Her position was worsening every day , she started smoking bidi . Building watchmen were complaining about Philoo, that she was asking them for a bidi . If the watchman refuses Philoo for a bidi than Philoo starts grumbling. All the people in the building were tired with Philoo but they still allowed her to live in the building. The owner of the Philoo's house had shifted to USA & because of some legal formalities, she was unable to vacant the house from Philoo until Philoo dies.

One day when I was coming from the school , I met Philoo in the way . She called me with non verbal gestures . I was very afraid because all my friends in the building told me that Philoo is a mad woman & she beats children but I slowly went towards her & she caught my hand. I shouted but she kept one toffee on my hand & asked what is your name ? . I said Moksha. Philoo ok...................bye. From that day I did not got afraid of Philoo & she met me every day . As days passed I asked other people about Philoo's life but people did not tell me much about her because for them Philoo was a mad woman & discussing about a mad woman was sheer wastage of time for them but this made me more curious to know more about Philoo . Unfortunately I was not able to know more about Philoo because like her sister Grace , Philoo was also found dead & the missionary people did her crimination . When Philoo was dead her house owner vacant the house . She cleaned the house & threw all the papers & Philoo's things . In the heap of papers I found a dairy . I took that dairy with the permission of the house owner. Without telling to my parents I took that dairy to my home & opened that dairy . The diary was Grace's personal diary . In a very beautiful hand writing she has written about her life & her relations with Philoo & what I have written above is what I understood after reading her personal diary . In the last page of the diary Grace had written that ' God punish us with any anything but not with loneliness as LONELINESS IS THE BITTER ENEMY OF MAN .

Friday, April 4, 2008


Preeti who was in her 6th month of pregnancy, asked Sheetal to have a seat. Sheetal sat on the chair & in a teasing manner said how careless is your husband? , who does not bother to buy for you a sofa or bed & at this stage you have to lie of the floor .Preeti smilingly said that I am happy with my husband in any situation, it is not that we cannot afford a bed or sofa but we are investing money in other more important things & let me tell you he is a very caring husband. Preeti was crying from within as she was saying but unfortunately she was all alone to bear the pain. Preeti controlled her emotions & asked Sheetal for tea. Sheetal agreed for it. Mean while Preeti was preparing tea in the kitchen, Sheetal took a look at Preeti's house. Sheetal , " Preeti who cleans your house?, do you have maid servants? . Preeti replied , “well I am the owner & the servant of my house ". Sheetal, “You clean your house as well take care of your son ". Preeti, “house wives have immense strength in them & they can manage everything in life & you will realize it when you will get married ".

Preeti gave Sheetal a cup of tea & again sat down, Preeti was silent & Sheetal too was silent both were in their own world, thinking from where to start their actual conversation. Preeti unconsciously was patting her 4 years old son- Ayush's back & was trying to put him sleep as it was already 11.30 pm. Sheetal finished her cup of tea & kept the cup down , " Preeti you are a nice woman but your opposite of you , he is a devil in the guise of man " . Preeti kept on listening without uttering a single word. Sheetal repeated the same words. Seeing that Preeti is not responding to her. Sheetal said, “But because your are good I will not hurt your husband much but if you were not there in his life I would have killed him by now. Preeti was thinking from within that Sheetal was trying to excite her against her husband & so she kept her lips still sealed.

Sheetal stood up from the chair & went towards Ayush & started moving her fingers in his soft hairs .She than said, “You have a lovely son but I pray he does not turn like his father ". Now Preeti broke her silence & said, " You are also nice woman, why do not you marry someone?, you can still find a nice guy for your self, your mother does not tell you to marry? after all a woman is incomplete without a man” . Sheetal replied , “But I do not tie a knot with a man like yours ". Preeti did not reply to what Sheetal had said just now because Preeti knew that Sheetal is willing to listen something against Ajay ( Preeti's husband) from her. Preeti kept on patting Ayush's back thinking that her ( Preeti's ) single word against Ajay will be a big tool for Sheetal & with this tool Sheetal will dig a big rift between Preeti & Ajay for ever..

Sheetal took a deep breathe & said well Ajay promised me to marry & therefore I never looked for another guy. We were very happy together but I feel sorry for you my dear Preeti .Ajay has deceived you, Ayush & the un born baby for no reason. Sheetal thought now Preeti will reply at least from her children's side but Preeti did not answer Sheetal back. “We had physical relation twice " , Sheetal told in a loud & piercing voice to hurt Preeti. "He always promised me to marry, we are in a relation from last one year. I hope Ajay have told you that ". Preeti without getting irritated replied ,“Yes, he told me everything yesterday about you & his relations with you “.Hearing this Sheetal immediately said, “what kind of woman you are? Why do not leave Ajay? You are a woman who should be worshiped like Goddess by Ajay”. Preeti without getting pleased said “why you had physical relation with Ajay without getting married, no wise woman gets into such type of relation without getting married ". Preeti said so because she knew that it is was not just Ajay's mistake but it was a mistake made by both Ajay & Sheetal. Preeti knew that Sheetal was trying to make her against Ajay & Sheetal is still in love with Ajay because Preeti had read the SMS which was sent by Sheetal to Ajay early in the morning. In the SMS she has written that she stills loves Ajay.

The clock struck 1.00 am & Preeti heard somebody knocking at the door, she thought that Ajay has come from his work. Sheetal stood & opened the door. Ajay was surprised. He was unable to make eye contact with Preeti but still Preeti smiled at Ajay & asked him for dinner. Ajay said that he already had dinner. Sheetal again thought to spoil the relation of Preeti & Ajay, she clapped her hands loudly & looking at Ajay in a humiliating tone said, “Ajay you have a wonderful wife but you are a shameless husband.........& Preeti is a jewel ". Ajay looked towards Preeti & than towards Sheetal , he realized the difference between the two women. Ajay remembered of that night when Sheetal forced him to come to her house & than she seduced him.....& his mistake of not telling Sheetal that he is already married. The whole incident was making him upset. The day first he met Sheetal & the day when she took away his mobile phone to call up all his friends to tell them about her relations with Ajay. When Sheetal took away Ajay's mobile phone, Ajay thought that now he should inform his wife Preeti about it.....because in case Sheetal contact her first, than Preeti may come in big problem as she was pregnant. Ajay called up Preeti & told her every thing.....on hearing this from her husband Preeti felt that the earth is revolving very fast, first Preeti did not believe as he was always good with her. ...... Preeti cried loudly, she thought now every thing was over in her life. She did not inform her parents about this bitter fact in life as she thought that they may not be able to tolerate finally she realized that she cannot spoil her children's future & therefore decided not to leave Ajay at any cost . So she invited Preeti to her house next day in the night to make her understand that time heals the biggest wound...........................

All three, Preeti , Ajay & Sheetal were silent for a while being as if all were bitten by one snake. Suddenly Ayush broke the silence by crying. Preeti & Ajay's attention went on Ayush , Ayush hugged his father tightly & Ajay too kissed him on his forehead. Sheetal was getting jealous from within & Preeti was staring towards Sheetal as she was willing to convey Sheetal that although Ajay had relation with you but he still loves his family. Preeti took Ayush in her arms & again tried to put him back to sleep. Preeti did not want Ayush to hear their conversation. Sheetal said to Ajay, “I just came here because your wife had invited me other wise I would have never attended your place ". Ajay looking towards clock said, “ok ". Realizing that Ajay is ignoring her, Sheetal thought that Ajay must be pretending because of his wife Preeti. So Sheetal requested Preeti to leave Ajay & her for just 10 minutes before she leaves Ajay & Preeti for ever. Preeti without getting tensed left them alone & she went into another room.

Ajay, “Yes what do you want to talk with me? ". Sheetal, “Well I still love you & can wait till Preeti delivers than you can give her divorce & we can marry ".Ajay realized that Sheetal is playing a game with him. He said, “no.....never ". Sheetal replied, “than I will defame you in media & your career will spoil ....well I do not care for my self, the guy Rasheed who was there in my life before you, has already repented for refusing me. So now it is up to you either marry me or I will defame you "Ajay in anger said, " You do what ever you want to.....I had already made a mistake once & I do not want to repeat it at .any cost. I feel disgusted when I think about the night which I have spent with you”. Sheetal , “But that was the best moment of my life ". Ajay, “Please leave us ". He was burning from within as he was thinking that how cunning is Sheetal? Right in front of Preeti , Sheetal called me devil & a shameless man & behind Preeti she is saying that I am her true love.

Sheetal realized that Ajay is not afraid of her threats. Meanwhile Preeti was sitting in other room her heart was beating hard but she had decided mentally that she will not going to leave Ajay. Sheetal bursted into tears & tried to hug Ajay but Ajay moved 3-4 steps back. Sheetal, " do not do this to me, I promise you that I will prove to be a better than Preeti. We together can earn lot of money & fame in media. I know Ajay you are a very talented artist & with your voice you create a magic & I am a beautiful woman ......we have a great chemistry dear ". Ajay now in a loud voice, “Please go away & do not try to persuade me, I am always with Preeti & you can do what ever you want to do “. Preeti heard Ajay shouting loudly, she came out of the room & saw Ajay was red in anger. Ajay said , " Please leave immediately other wise I will throw you out of my house & do not ever try to dig a valley between me & Preeti "

Seeing that Ajay is out of control, Sheetal said , " So you are throwing me out of your life .....than I must teach you a lesson. Although I am poor, I do not have money but I will do anything to defame you & than you will not be able t live in Mumbai nor will be able to show your face to any one. One more thing you will never become a renowned artist.....this is my curse. I shall not return your mobile phone & the cash money which you had given me”. Preeti felt that she was sinking & she was afraid that Ayush does not hear any conversation. Her legs were shaking severely. Sheetal than looked at Preeti & to make her more nervous said, “Preeti you just wait & watch ". Sheetal opened the door, went out & shut the door very hard. Hearing the loud noise , Ayush woke up & came running out. Ayush hugged Preeti tightly ....Preeti was sweating took Ayush inside the room & placed him on bed & put him back to sleep.

Ajay was standing near the window ....peeping out, he was unable to speak with Preeti. Feeling that Ajay is feeling guilty from within. Preeti kept her hand on Ajay's shoulder & asked him to put his head on her laps. Preeti with her fingers moved his hair lightly. Ajay in a pleading tone, “I cannot ask you to forgive me because I had done some thing which is very wrong. You can give me any punishment for my offense but do not give me the punishment of leaving alone for ever. I have realized that you are a jewel. Sheetal will spoil my career now but I do not care for it but I cannot afford to lose you “.Preeti kept on listening & was making a humming ensure Ajay that she was listening. Ajay, “Preeti please slap me but do not leave me .....I will die”. Finally Preeti replied, " I am hearing you & please do not talk about death. Well I never asked you for money or anything else because I always loved you & so if Sheetal spoils your career I will be happy to live with you in any worst situation. Regarding Sheetal I am sure she will not do any thing because she is also equally responsible for what has been done, also time will heal her wounds. As she was angry she said so. Now please stop thinking about Sheetal & try to sleep as it is already 3.00am ".

Ajay slept, his head was in Preeti's laps through out night but Preeti was sleepless. Although she has calmed Ajay but she kept on thinking about Ajay's career & his relations with Sheetal. She was unable to forget Sheetal's threats. Next day in the morning Ajay woke up & he was surprised to see the whole night his head was in Preeti's laps & Preeti kept sitting with his head in her laps. He stood up & walked into the kitchen to prepare tea so that Preeti can rest for a while. As he was preparing tea, Preeti cam into the kitchen & said, “Why you made it, you should have told me ". Ajay, " No it is fine ...I have already disturbed you a lot & now please give me chance to improve ".

As Preeti & Ajay were sipping tea, the telephone rang ' tring .....tring '.Preeti tried to stand up to receive the phone call but Ajay picked up the receiver. “Hello this is Sheetal's mother speaking ". Ajay considering her elderly woman talked to her politely although he had a big hatred for Sheetal but as soon as he heard that Sheetal is in hospital, Ajay was shocked, and he remembered her threats ....& thought she has done something to her self to defame him. Now there will be a police case. Ajay became speechless, his face turned pale. Looking at Ajay, Preeti too became nervous & thought there is something wrong. Preeti gathered her strengths & went towards the telephone without asking Ajay anything she switched on the speaker of the phone & the receiver was still in Ajay's hand. She heard a woman crying & saying that please save Sheetal , I cannot live without my daughter Sheetal...please help me ....Sheetal is in K.E.M. Hospital. On hearing this Preeti said, “Aunty she will be alright soon...& I will pray for her ". Preeti shut off the phone without saying any thing further.

Preeti & Ajay both were lost in their own thoughts, they did not know what has happened but both were unhappy from Sheetal's side .Their hairs were standing on their end. After two minutes the telephone again rang ' tring tring ‘. Preeti & Ajay looked at each other as if what is next it a call from Police station? Although Preeti's hands were shivering, she slowly lifted the telephone receiver & in stammering voice said, “Hello “. It was again Sheetal's mother call. “Please help me, I need money urgently & please do not say no "....... Preeti replied, " How much, when & where? “. Sheetal's mother, " Some 20-25 Thousands & if you can get the money at K.E.M. Hospital, as early as possible ". Preeti without any second thought replied, “Ok” & kept the receiver down. Ajay in curiosity, “what happened Preeti ...tell me please ". Preeti told that it was Sheetal's mother call & she was asking for some money urgently. Ajay, " I am totally blank.....I do not know what will happen next is becoming very difficult for me.....I pray that Sheetal is not playing any prank with us ". Preeti , " I hope so but still on humanitarian grounds I will go to hospital to meet Sheetal but before I go I want to know that , does Sheetal's mother know about your & her daughter's relationship " . Ajay after thinking, “She thinks I am Sheetal's good friend & a colleague ". Preeti, “ is better if her mother does not know about it ".

Ajay, " So what are you planning to do next?. Preeti, “we should go to the hospital “. Ajay did not reply for a while because his ' Yes ' might force Preeti to think that I have still love for Sheetal & Ajay did not want to lose Preeti & at any cost. Preeti asked Ajay, “So what do you say ". Ajay kept calm for a while than with full strength said. " You go to the hospital to see Sheetal & than you call me from there , I will come there with money " .Preeti , " Ok ...I was also thinking the same ".Preeti took a quick bath & without having a proper breakfast left for the hospital . Ayush was left with Ajay. Preeti took a cab for K.E.M. hospital. Although she was physically in taxi but was mentally in hospital ....she was curious to know what had happened to Sheetal & she was also thinking about the threats which were given by Sheetal last night. Preeti's heart was pounding hard as she was getting different thoughts in her mind. Her hairs were flying but she did not bother to tie them back. Preeti's condition was miserable as from last 48 hours she was continuously thinking only about Sheetal. She had forgotten to eat, sleep & the fact that she is pregnant. Last 48 hours were her worst moment of life.

Preeti cam out of her thoughts when the taxi driver said that madam, “here comes K.E.M. hospital “. Preeti was in a big hurry so she gave a 100 Rs note & did not even bother to take the balance back. She rushed to the hospital & on the reception took the details of Sheetal. As she was walking towards Sheetal's room, Preeti was sweating .Her hairs were sticking on her face & neck & she finally managed to walk inside Sheetal's room. In the room Sheetal was lying all alone on a bed. Seeing Preeti , Sheetal in a very low voice asked Preeti to sit on a chair which was lying in the room. Preeti took the seat & asked Sheetal about her mother. Sheetal said that she just have gone out to meet some doctors. Preeti was unable to look at Sheetal as she was badly wounded, her left hand was fractured & her face had many deep markings. Sheetal's right eye was smaller than her left eye because of the injury on her forehead. Preeti without making an eye contact with Sheetal asked her how it happened?. Sheetal looked here & there ....than slowly told Preeti to shut the room door for a while. Preeti was afraid as to why she is asking her to close the door ......will she speak something about Ajay?

Preeti stood up & slowly walked towards the door & unwillingly shut the door than again came back & sat on the chair near Sheetal . Sheetal now with extremely painful voice said, “Thanks for visiting me are really a jewel .This is a punishment given to me by God for trying to create a rift between you & Ajay ". Sheetal than closed her eyes for a while & kept quite .Preeti was confused ...she did not understand what was happening in her life. Previous night Sheetal threatened her & now she is apologizing. Preeti, " Sheetal are you ok ". Sheetal, “Please forgive me Preeti ". Preeti, “whom am I to forgive you or punish you ". Sheetal, “Please forgive me before I die ". Preeti, “please do not talk about death, think about me, how I must have felt when I heard from Ajay about your & his relations. Still I am surviving with this internal wound ". Sheetal said, “You are a very tolerant woman, I wish I was like you ". Preeti, “every incident in life teaches you a new are still not too late, you can start your life once again ". Sheetal, “I wish your words come true but dear I am not lucky like you because I have spoiled my life with my own hands ". Preeti with sympathy asked her how?.

Before Sheetal could say a word, Sheetal's mother came into the room. Sheetal introduced Preeti to her mother as Ajay's wife. Sheetal's mother, “Oh....nice to see you. I have met Ajay many times but unfortunately I am meeting you in this bad situation where I cannot even offer you a cup of tea ". Preeti, “No problem Aunty I will surely come to your house on some day ". Sheetal's mother, " Sorry for disturbing you but I was helpless as I needed the money. You see since Sheetal's father had expired ....Sheetal is the only earning member in our family. We do not have any bank balance, what ever she earns is used up to fulfill petty needs of our life. Preeti, “Aunty do not worry, Ajay will be coming soon with some money ". She than thanked Preeti & asked her to sit with Sheetal for some more time as she has to leave for some hospital work urgently. Preeti & Sheetal were left alone.

Sheetal called Preeti & said, “Please listen to me before my mother comes back .Today God has given me the opportunity to open my heart to you. I have hidden lot of things in my heart which have stolen sleep from eyes ". Preeti became nervous. Sheetal, “today I am in this condition because of my friend Rasheed. Yesterday night when I was going to my house, I met Rasheed on the railway station. He along with his friends dragged me & than hit me ". Preeti, “ God, how heartless is Rasheed ". Sheetal, " No he was a nice person by only made him heartless & I got my punishment yesterday night for being bad with Rasheed ".” Well some 2 years ago I & Rasheed used to work together in an advertising company, I was in love with Rasheed but Rasheed used to love Rehana. One day I proposed him but he refused me .So in anger I defamed him in the office by saying that Rasheed tried to rape me. Rasheed was removed from the job & was humiliated. Since he was jobless & was also tagged characterless, Rehana's parents got her married to some other person. I too left that job. Therefore when he saw me yesterday on the railway station Rasheed & his friends had beaten me ".Preeti , " God " . Sheetal, “I deserve that but please do not tell my mother about it because I told her that I fell from the local train because of low BP ". Preeti, “I assure you that I will never tell this fact either to your mummy or to Ajay because I do not want to develop bitterness for you in anybodies heart ". Sheetal, “ made my heart light are a true jewel & I too promise you that I will never come back in your & Ajay's life. Once I will recover, I will go back to my home town ". Preeti, “first recover ....for me your heath is more important ". Sheetal, “how selfish I am, I did not ask you whether you had a proper breakfast ".

Preeti , " Oh....I have to make an urgent phone call ......I will be back soon till than you relax.” Preeti went out & from PCO called up Ajay. Ajay, " where were you Preeti, I was waiting for your call. Are you ok? Is the situation under control? " . Preeti, “I am fine, Sheetal due to low BP fell from the local train on the platform & you come with money ". Ajay," I will be there in half an hour ". Preeti than came back & saw Sheetal's mummy in the room. Both of them started conversing & Sheetal kept listening to their conversation....she was smiling & felt much better as she has shared some of her life's bitter facts with a trustworthy person . Ajay came along with Ayush. Sheetal's mummy & Ajay went on the hospital reception to deposit the money .She than thanked him & said that when ever he is free he can come & visit Sheetal. Ajay said, " today I have some urgent work so I have to leave ....I will come on some other day to visit Sheetal “. Ajay went along with Ayush & Preeti .

Preeti was feeling slightly better & she slept peacefully that day in night .Till Sheetal was in hospital Preeti used to visit her ....she used to carry along with her fruits & flowers ....Sheetal also used to wait for Preeti....both of them used to crack jokes, Preeti used to cut fruits for Sheetal & forced her to eat .....By now Preeeti has forgotten that Sheetal was her husband's girlfriend Sheetal was her close friend. Sheetal on the discharge day was wondering how her last 15 days have passed so fast ......? Ajay & Preeti cam together on the discharge day.....Sheetal treated Ajay as her best friend's husband & not as her boyfriend. Sheetal with a smile on her face took Preeti's right hand in her hand & than kissed her hand, " Preeti you are my ideal, my best friend & my mentor. I have no grievances in my life now for any one ". Sheetal than give Preeti's hand in Ajay's hand & said “the jewel is yours for ever ". Preeti was in tears but she wiped her tears & said, " all the best to you & may all your dreams come true ". Ajay too without any hatred wished her all the best. When Sheetal's mummy came into the room after completing all the discharge formalities all four of them, Sheetal's mummy, Sheetal, Preeti & Ajay came out together from the hospital ...Ajay, Preeti took a cab & Sheetal & her mother took another cab. Both cabs went in opposite direction. In the taxi Ajay, “It is now my turn ...& I will become a good husband & father but Preeti are really a TRUE JEWEL”