Kabir. My name is Riddhima. I am Riddhima and as I write this, my hands shiver and my heart pounds. Will I be able to pen down the truth? Will I be able to win over my real enemy ? Will I be able to do that? I loved Kabir( a cop) ; I loved him more than a mother loves her child. I loved him more than a child loves her toys. My love for him was deeper than the roots of a tree and stronger than any love that can ever be. I loved Kabir with all my heart.
Meeting Kabir after the lockdown was one hell of a roller-coaster ride. I felt sad and happy, excited and relieved. But the one emotion that conquered every other emotion was love. We enjoyed my favourite pani-puri and chaat. He even brought me some gajras, my favourite. And then he turned on his serious mode.
'Riddhima? How much do you love me?' his smile bright.
'More than anything in this world, more than I love myself, Kabir.'
'Riddhima, I am about to ask for something big from you. Will you be able to give it to me?' He smiled again, his smile brighter than before.
'Go on and ask. My entire existence is yours,' my eyes stinky from the hot tears now.
'Riddhima, can you for me, be my enemy’s? Can you marry him for my mission, Riddhima?'
When once in Agra I had said that I can sacrifice my life for Kabir, I had definitely meant it. When I had said that he could ask for anything and I would be more than happy to give him anything and everything he asked for, I had meant that too. But this was not what I had meant. My love, my passion for Kabir came with a price so huge. A price no lover would ever have asked his beloved for.
As per the mission, I got married to Vansh Rai Singhania, the biggest business tycoon, and my biggest enemy. As I write this, I really want to scribble and scribble and scribble on this page until there is no space left to write anything about him. I hated him. I hated him more than I hated anyone or anything in my life. Last night, Vansh was being suspicious over me again. He suspects I came into his life as a part of a mission. Hell yeah, I did. He says he hates betrayal and I keep pretending to ignore him, to not pay any heed to his words. But deep down, I care. Deep down, I’m scared.
I set off on my mission right a day after my wedding: that is to say I found a statue on the second day of my stay at the VR mansion. It was a statue of a girl with eyes so big it seemed to steal the stars. On her fingers, she wore the same ring Vansh gifted me on our wedding night, the initials ‘VR’ crystal clear. VR, in case you are wondering is the shorter form of Vansh Rai Singhania. The statue was very creepy, creepy enough to cause the hair on my back rise and make the back of my palms sweat. ‘I hate intriguers’ whispered a deep voice. And in that deadly moment I knew who awaited me. Vansh, Vansh, Vansh, chanted my mind. But my heart roused the slightest speck of hope of finding someone else. On turning around, I saw a pair of coal black eyes staring daggers at me. ‘I hate intriguers,’ repeated Vansh. A small cry escaped my lips but before Vansh could ask anything more, I ran up the stairs, back into my room.
The next day, on enquiring a bit from one of the servants and then a bit from the other, I found out that the statue was of a girl named Rosa. That’s it, I got to know nothing more. My mind started to make a lot of theories.
I) Rosa, like many others had possibly fallen victim to Vansh.
II) Rosa was Vansh’s former wife/ girlfriend.
III) Rosa was a spy like me and got killed with her mission incomplete.
That day a very weird thing happened to me. In the evening, I found my bedside table lined with an extremely beautiful bouquet filled with roses of all kinds. There were red and yellow and white. So many of them, and beneath them lied a note.
- - - - -
Well wasn’t that weird? It definitely was. But back when I didn’t know how weird Vansh really was, this act seemed weirder to me.
Soon, I started to fall. On my fourth day in VR mansion, I got shot. While dancing along with Vansh in a masquerade themed party, I felt as if Vansh and I were being looked at. Despite Vansh's tremendous convincing that there wasn't anyone, I went out to check if there really was someone keeping an eye on us. And being the suspicious man that he is, Vansh followed me all along. There was a rustle and a thud. That's all I can remember before I heard Vansh shouting 'Riddhima' as a bullet hit my shoulder and I fell down, into Vansh's arms. ‘That bullet was meant for me,’ he still complains and every time he does, I ignore him. You know, I , myself didn’t know why did I take the bullet on my own self. I didn't, up until a few days ago. You see, when I said I started to fall, I had meant that I started to fall for him. I started to fall for the great business tycoon, Vansh Rai Singhania. I stared to fall for all the things that he was. I started to fall for the good husband that he was. I started to fall for the good boss he was, for the good brother he was. I started to fall for a criminal. I fell for him faster than I fell for Kabir. I fell for him without knowing and mind you, he still taunts me for that.
On my fifth day in the mansion, he warned me again. ‘Riddhima,’ he began. ‘I hate betrayal,’ his back facing towards me. ‘Nobody dares to betray Vansh Rai Singhania. And if someone does, he is never lucky enough to escape. Okay, sweetheart?’
Sweetheart. He uses that word to taunt me.
‘Wh...why did you kill Rosa?’ I finally managed out some words out of my stuttering mouth.
He shot me one of his looks, raising his left eyebrow up.
‘Well, well. You have a tongue? Interesting. Very interesting.’
I hate it when he taunts me. Nevertheless, I kept quiet in case he wanted to taunt me some more. He turned around and pinned me up against the bedroom wall.
‘That’s none of your business and even if it is, you should keep quiet. Shhhh...’ he slowly put up his forefinger on my lips.
For a while, I thought I was drowning. Drowning into his deep eyes as he was drowning in mine. But then suddenly, he broke off. ‘Go and set the breakfast table. Now!’
Everyone in the VR mansion says that Vansh is a riddle no one has ever been able to solve. They say he has multiple faces. So many of them, that Vansh himself might’ve forgotten his real face. My mind wants to believe all that the others say but my heart... My heart screams to not pay attention to anything the others say. So it’s quiet a battle now: a battle between my heart and my mind.
He punished me on the sixth day. As per the rules foretold by him on the night of our wedding, I am not allowed to leave the mansion without Vansh’s permission. Being the stubborn girl that I am, I did quite the opposite. By a lot of efforts, I contacted Kabir and asked him to meet me outside the mansion, just behind the backyard. I told Kabir about the treasure I had found in the VR mansion : the statue. I told him all about the things that occurred while I was away from him. What I did not tell him about was my fall. I didn’t tell him about me falling for Vansh. He instructed me to hand over the slightest proof of Vansh being a criminal to him so that he could use that against Vansh and arrest him. But I didn’t. I made up all the excuses I could to save Vansh. And what did Vansh do? He punished me.
Vansh punished me by locking me up in the attic with no food or water. It was not more than a few moments after Vansh had locked me, that I heard keys jingling. The doorknob rotated and in came Vansh. ‘You really thought I would lock you up in here, did you?’ He smiled and went away. I'd only been up in the attic for a few moments, but in those moments, I hated him.
I locked myself up in the attic for two days. Nobody came to ask for me and to my dismay, neither did Vansh. Maybe he hated me the same way I hated him. Or even more. On the ninth day, I committed another big mistake. I called Kabir from one of the servant’s phone since Vansh had taken away mine. I told Kabir about all the proofs I had gathered against Vansh. I told him about our fight: he locking me and then unlocking me from the attic. I told him about me locking myself up in the attic for two consecutive days. ‘I will come tomorrow to arrest him. Don’t you lose hope, Riddhima.’
On my tenth day in the VR mansion, Kabir, along with his team came to arrest Vansh. He put forth all the evidences I had provided him with. Vansh casted me a sad, brief glance. So he knew. He knew that I had betrayed him once again. He knew it. But I didn’t care.
‘Mr. Kabir, these allegations are false. All these crimes have been committed by someone else. And the criminal has been arrested too. I cannot believe you thought Mr Vansh over here, is a criminal. I’m totally disappointed in you,’ said the senior officer.
The entire team left but Kabir didn’t.
‘I hate you more than I’ve hated anyone in my life, Vansh. I hate you for you snatched away my childhood from me. I hate you for you snatched away my Riddhima from me. I knew it. I knew that you weren’t a criminal but I sent Riddhima after you so that she could prove you wrong. I sent Riddhima so that she could accomplish what my other spies hadn’t been able to. I know you aren’t guilty, Vansh. But I’ll kill you anyway.’
I’ll kill you anyway. I know you’re innocent. I’ll kill you anyway. I know you’re innocent. My head was spinning furiously. And my mind couldn’t really comprehend what my ears had just heard. Vansh was innocent. No, no, no. So my heart had been right throughout? I saw Kabir taking out a gun and before I knew i was standing in between Vansh and Kabir.
‘Riddhima...’ began Kabir. ‘Move away. Move! ’
He insisted on and on but I didn’t listen to him anyway and then suddenly, there was a thud. I had come in between Vansh and his bullet again. But this time it was different. This time I had been shot right on my heart instead.