Several months had passed since that fateful night in Khandala but there was no news of Ravi. Initially there was lot of hue and cry as an IPS officer had gone missing. There were statements from politicians; ruckus in the assembly; debates in various news channels; all scouting for a piece of the pie. But eventually the hype died down; nobody cared apart from the family in trouble. Shreya didn’t know what to tell her kids. They would unassumingly ask for Ravi and she had to lie to them about him being on tour. When they insisted on speaking on the phone with their daddy, Shreya again had to make up some pretext to avoid it.
Shreya made visits after visits to the head quarters but no good news ever came through. People had started suspecting the worst in hush tones. Often Shreya’s mind would also come to the same conclusion but no sooner than such thoughts entered her mind; she flushed it away replacing it with hope. Ravi had to live; he had to come back for they had planned a future together; he had been away for long on assignments and now this but he had to come back she thought.
Days passed; weeks turned into months and eventually it was an entire year since the incident. The kids stopped asking about Ravi any further and Shreya didn’t know which door to knock at anymore. She had tried everything possible but to no avail.
One night after Shreya had put the kids to sleep; as she stood in their lawn engrossed in thoughts suddenly her cell blinked with a call from an unknown number. As she answered, the person on the other side sounded familiar. For a moment she was confused and couldn’t decipher who it was as the person was whispering. But then it struck her; it was none other than Ravi. Yes indeed it was Ravi. But why was he whispering? Where was he calling from? If he was alright why was he not coming home? As she stood flabbergasted and confused; Ravi asked her to meet on the anniversary of their engagement at the place where they had met for the first time and hung up the call!
Why was Ravi being so cryptic? As a million emotions ran through her; that of happiness at listening to his voice; of relief at knowing that he was alive; of anger at him not saying anything else; there was a knock at her door. It was Ravi’s friend Sujith he too had received a call from Ravi who wanted to meet him along with Shreya.
They sat in Shreya’s living room trying to figure out what sort of trouble he might be in that took him so long to reach out to them. There was still time for the stipulated meeting; till then they had to make sure nobody found out about it. Ravi never did anything without any substantial reason; the very fact that he was being so careful in not openly disclosing the date and time on call meant that the calls were being monitored. During their time together; Ravi had taught Shreya a thing or two about such situations. How to ensure that she wasn’t being tailed and how to ensure safety for their children.
Shreya sent Guddu and Gudia to her in-law’s place and got about ensuring a safe meeting with Ravi. With the help of Sujith, she made sure there was no spying equipment at her place to monitor her movements. She took a new number in the name of her maid which she would give Ravi for communicating further if the need arises. Sujith too ensured that he was not being followed or kept a watch on. The countdown to the meeting began and finally it was the day when several of their questions would be answered.
Sujith and Shreya reached the place; an abandoned college campus on the outskirts of the city. They went to several detours to ensure not being followed. They reached there well before time to scout the place for any traps; as they waited for Ravi several thoughts ran through Shreya’s mind. She was scared as well as anxious.
They had been waiting for two hours but there was no sign of Ravi. As they started contemplating on whether to leave or wait a while longer, there was flutter among the bushes behind the spot they were standing. Sujith pushed Shreya behind the wall and waited with his revolver for whoever it was behind the bushes to emerge. To their surprise a tall man dressed shabbily looking like a hungry hobo came forth; as Sujith started questioning him; Shreya came out from behind and ran towards the man. She kept hugging him and crying; it dawned on Sujith that it was none other than Ravi.
There was so much to explain, so much to know. Shreya and Sujith had so many questions; Ravi had so much to say. Where had he been for a year? What had happened that night in Khandala? The answers to those questions and Ravi’s disappearance would now be found. As Ravi began his tale; they could hear sirens at the abandoned college building’s gate. Ravi freaked at the sound; he was angry as he thought Sujith had called for backup. But when Sujith denied any knowledge to it; Ravi told both Sujith and Shreya that he would meet them again soon but they needed to get out of there now. There were people who would rather see Ravi dead for reasons he required time to explain. For the moment; he could only ask them to trust on him and go back without being seen by the cavalry. Ravi kissed Shreya on her forehead and told her he loved her and after this he would never leave her alone. He asked her for support one last time to complete his mission. With tears gushing down her cheeks, Shreya nodded she knew Ravi would keep his word. She knew they would finally have that future together and a little longer wait now seemed irrelevant. So they left; with unanswered questions but still some sort of relief at the knowledge of the fact that Ravi was still alive.
What was it that Ravi wanted to share? Who had informed the force about their meeting and why did Ravi not want to come infront of the police? So many questions; perhaps all would be answered in the next meeting. Till then all hung in the balance with chains of hope and faith as they say everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end!