Chapter 1 :: Trip to Pakistan
Two years ago.........right after Amma died!
Railway is bustling with people as expected and even though there are only two train that that leaves from India to Pakistan, one Delhi-Attari express and another one Samjhuta express......
it took almost 2 hours just to find both sister's name on the list......it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack!
and now imagine doing that while trying to hide from others who happens to be your family members.......an over protective father and two brothers, three bodyguards who follows her around like Dogs everytime she leave home.....
fortunately Amarendra called them here too just for today because he thought she'd not be needed them considering she'd be in Bikaner palace, safe and secure.....
so, it was easy to sneak out without them breathing down on her neck....it would been tough but she would not say she'd not have enjoyed that immensely,.....!
Bulky thick headed idiots!.......she was crawling from right under their noses and they didn't even bother to look down!
She snickered before leaving from there.
And for an almost 18 years old with no experience,.....smuggling herself into a different country which, in time and again proven an arch-enemy for her very own country India......she doesn't know whether or not it was too much ?
at first she was sure......when she left for Manali but this time she isn't really sure about everything......there's this gnawing feeling,....but she had been shaking it off everytime!
Technically, she isn't smuggling herself, she has her passport made by her baba's most trustworthy men who has been handling all his paperwork all these years.....so, when she met the agent with her own paperwork in a file the day after her dad sent just his and her brother's paperwork saying they forgot to sent her's......they didn't even question her since they knew who she was!
Her visa is okay too......
money wasn't really a problem since she saved her pocket money for rainy days.
she just didn't tell her baba or her brothers that she hid herself with a small duffel bag that contains 2 sets of modest salwar suit, one abaya, an additional slightly heavy kaftan just in case,.....her phone & charger, few chocolates and her toothbrush, headphone and Kindle......
in the same car's trunk that drove them to the station.
it was awfully crowded today, she was feeling dizzy.
More than ever!
Or, maybe this is how it looks like,.......after all thousands of people comes from and goes to Pakistan every year. She had been walking around the bogies desperately looking out for familiar faces......her eyes widened as she saw not one but two and she couldn't help but cried out in excitement.
''Hey........Rush,.....Rush, behind you!'' Insiyaa whispered out in frustration.
And two heads turned around to the direction they heard voice from.....and Rushda gasped and her hand went straight on her lips as well as her younger sister Ruthba's.
''insu!!!......what are you doing here, you are suppose to be at palace" Rushda whisper yelled looking around
''you are not supposed to be here at this time, .....aur kaise, kab ?''
[ And how and when ? ] Ruthba said giving her a horrified expression......
Both sister exchanged worried glances looking at her.
''Kaha baithe ho tum dono, pehle waha le chalo mujhe, i've to seat, I'm feeling dizzy, car ke trunk me travel asaan ni hai" Insiyaa didn't answer any of that question, instead, she asked one
[ where are you two sitting, take me there,......It's not easy to travel in car's trunk ]
'umm.....at front! they booked cabin for just us two in female section'
"Oh, good! I'm tired and hungry.....Let's get in"
Ruthba looked at her sister and said in hesitated voice ''Umm......o_okay....but.....
Rushda however impatiently rolled her eyes and answered on her behalf.
''but insu.....look around, train is just about to leave in few minutes, you can't get in''
"actually i can.....I've got a seat booked there.... come" Insiyaa furrowed and answered
''you did WHAT'' Ruthba suddenly cried out
''you heard me already.......let's go, i don't want my brother to see me here. Baba and Shawkat is already inside with other men, i checked but Rahat is out smoking cigarette outside, so, he can find out, anytime"
''Oh.....err, um okay! come Rushi'' Ruthba said
Rushda just frowned looking at her though......before following them behind.
"mmmh.....i was so hungry! I couldn't even eat much you know. Journey was long and nauseating, i thought i was about to throw up then and there" Insiyaa moaned and said with mouthful of paratha.....
''How.....did you come here Insu! Babasa already said you will not accompany them here. He left you at Bikaner himself, did he not ? Then how come you.....!'' Ruthba asked nervously
Insiyaa didn't say anything just gave her a deadpanned look......
'funny Ruth! you really have ask that.....she said, In Trunk' Rushda rolled her eyes again and gave her a knowing look
Ruthba couldn't believe though......
''are you serious,......tum phir bina bataye agaye, pichli baari babasa ne maaf kar diya tha insu, iss bari pata chalega to maar hi dalenge tumhe''
[ you did this again without informing anyone! Last time babasa forgave you but this time, this time he'll surely kill you Insu ]
''Right!'' Insiyaa muttered rolling her eyes while eating
''care to tell us what exactly happened that you couldn't resist.......i mean I'm a rebel in my family too and i too do things the way i like but still we are from different background and Ruthba is right here......this is too big!''
Insiyaa swallowed the last remaining morsel down with orange juice and cleared her throat before looking at her......
''Other than the fact that i want be there when everyone is burying the woman who took care of me ever since i was few days old......c'mon Rush! Main janti hoon ki wo tum dono ki daadi thi, par mere liye to mere ma se kaam ni thi, i never saw ma,.....tumhari daadi hi meri maa thi"
[ I know she was both of your grandma but for me she was close to what i had for a mother, i never saw my mother, she was my mother ]
"aise kaise mujhe yahan chor ke jaa sakte ho tum saab....aajeeb hai, Shawkat ne bhi kuch ni kaha"
[ how could all of you just leave me here......so insensitive! even Shawkat didn't say anything ]
''what___do you mean you want to be there'' Ruthba swallowed and asked
''again....you have to ask ?'' Rushda snorted
''well.....I got my passport and visa yesterday'' Insiyaa replied in a duh tone
''O, c'mon ruth'' Rushda cried out in frustration
''Chup ho jao tum......''
[ shut up,....you! ] Ruthba rebuked glaring at her elder sister
"And! __ and i'm going to Pakistan with all of you"
Ruthba looked at her as if she's about to faint........absolutely shocked by the revelation.
"before you say anything or....faint! That's not the only reason, please hear me out......before you rat me out"
this time Insiyaa's voice was serious as we as her expression!
Rushda must have noticed that because she was now sitting stiffer than before........and Ruthba blinked away the shock and looked at her again, giving her a reluctant nod, asking her to continue.
''Do you know why did your uncle came! i mean after all these years....i never saw him before, I'm sure neither did you!"
Both sisters gave her look of confusion......
''well, because of daadi's last wish,.....she wanted to be buried by her husband's side and babasa needed to know where is that.....so yeah he had to inform the family there, whether we like it or not, he is our blood related, we can't ignore that'' Rushda said
"come now,....from what i heard, he did not even bother to look for all of you all these years, and now one call from baba and he came running..... For nothing ?"
'......aur kya wajah ho sakta hai!'
[ yeah, what else the reason would be! ] Ruthba asked
Insiyaa animatedly looked up pretending to think......
"Reason.........to embezzle your money and property, whatever was in Amma's name in Pakistan and whatever she earned here, she left for both of you after your mom-dad's death"
''Rubbish....we don't have that much'' Ruthba said giving her a glare...."we are just going there to perform daadi's last rite.....It's not like we are staying there forever'
''And who told you that!" Insiyaa asked raising eyebrows
''umm......that's what truth is, we have nothing there!'' Rushda answered this time though she seemed to be quite nervous.....not so sure like before
Between these two, Rushda always the confidant one,.....but right then her voice didn't sound confidence at all and even Ruthba however paled hearing Insiyaa.
''But from i heard.....that's not quite true!"
''Then what is the truth!'' Rushda asked
"your dad bought few acres of lands years ago when you were baby......it was on both of you name, 50/50! and here Amma bought two apartment in Delhi for both of you too just few years ago, as we all know! She even left both of you some cash and baba gave her some jewelries for both of you, i heard it when........baba was discussing all these with attorney" Insiyaa shrugged and answered
both sister's jaw dropped........for one yes! they didn’t know that, Their dadi never told them anything, infact, she was always so frugal that sometimes Rushda felt jealous of how Insiyaa was always so free to spend more freely than them.
"we -- we have all of these ?" She asked
"baba did inform your tayaji out of courtesy but it wasn't baba who made the offer, though" Insiyaa pointed out looking nervous
''what offer'' Suddenly Ruthba's voice came surprised and panicky
''umm.....your tayaji asked to take both of you as his sons' wife ?"
both squeaked out........at the same time.
''i_c_can't'' Ruthba whispered looking shocked
''nor can i.....I'm not ready, i don't think I'll ever be'' Rushda said......she looked like she's about to be sick.
Meanwhile Train whistled, they were about to leave!
Insiyaa slightly stiffened and swallowed a big lump looking at both
"another journey begins, girls" She mumbled and just pulled her orange juice bottle up in cheering motion...meanwhile this time both girls looked pale as sheet!
......she just prayed inwardly that she took the right decision about coming here and making this journey and come what may happens next,....no harm comes to them!