New Ray Of Hope

The end to the story of Shreya and Ravi; the part after The Incomplete Reunion

Shreya stood at her bedroom veranda as rain drops poured down heavily on the city in slumber. It was as if the skies were shedding tears at the helplessness she felt.  She was confused whether to be pleased at finally meeting Ravi or be sad at the abrupt end to their reunion. With the cool breeze and the silent night as her companion, Shreya’s mind went back and forth to the events of the day. It was like a player on loop; the same events occurring over and over again infront of her eyes. But answers would only come by when she would be able to get some time with Ravi. But when?

Shreya was tired of all the uncertainty. When Ravi was around in the past she was happily taking care of every errand around the house. It didn’t matter that Ravi was always busy; atleast he would be back at the end of the day. The house was like a haven of happiness. Yes she would be irked at Ravi not being able to find time for her and the kids, but then she could always fight with him for being so occupied! But now not only was she single parenting the kids; there was also no hope of Ravi returning at the end of the day. Who would she fight with; nobody!

Shreya was alone in the house; Guddu and Gudia were safely at their grandparents’. After Ravi had gone missing inspite of the loneliness; the kids were there to keep her company. She missed them and wished they were with her. That night sleep was hard to come by; Shreya went around the house ensuring every door and window was properly locked. She had become sceptical of everything around but who would blame her after the ordeal she had been through. After her usual round around the house; she went to her study and sat with her laptop to catch up on some mails.

While still in her study, Shreya heard a faint knock at her window. Her first reaction was to check the time. It was around 1 and it was an unusual for anybody to come see her then let alone knock at the window. But no sooner than she thought that; a feeling dawned on her; perhaps it was Ravi! She walked towards the window; slowly pulled up the curtain and peeked outside. A man just about as tall as Ravi stood there; gazing at her. In the dark she couldn’t make out if it was indeed Ravi; but as he moved closer to the window she realised she was right. It was Ravi outside; she hurriedly opened the window and let him in.

After so long he was home; both were overwhelmed with emotions. They hugged; smiled and cried all at the same time. Finally Shreya would get the answers she had all the while been waiting for. As they sat in the comforts of their home; Ravi looked tired and famished. Before he could clear the doubts; Shreya asked him to go clean up till she made him his favourite food. But Ravi looked at her with a grave expression; with a heavy voice he said there wasn’t enough time. He needed to talk then and there without delay.  

They switched off every light in the house and sat on the floor as Ravi began with his tale. Ravi had been working on a case of a notorious drug dealer Rajan. Rajan was known for his uncouth brazen approach towards life which made him one of the most feared names in the underworld. He was not only involved in smuggling of drugs but was one of the most cold-blooded killers of the time. He killed people with the ease of breathing in air. Rajan was the prime suspect for murders of some of the force’s bright young officers. He was a ruthless killer and it was very important for him to be sent to the gallows. But the lack of evidence against him made it difficult to control his menace. If at all there were any witnesses to his crimes they would mysteriously vanish. More than that Rajan didn’t stop at the officer’s life; he wiped out entire families.

Ravi had been handed Rajan’s case few weeks before that fateful night after a very capable officer and his family were brutally murdered by Rajan. As Ravi began investigating; he began receiving threatening calls from Rajan’s men to back off or suffer the consequences. Infact they had sworn to end the lives of his family too if he didn’t mend his ways. He soon noticed some shady men had begun following them everywhere. It didn’t take time for Ravi to deduce that they were Rajan’s men. For Ravi to work on Rajan’s case without being tailed and without his family being put to danger; he needed a plan.

That day as they had driven from Mumbai to Khandala, Ravi noticed they were again being pursued by the same men. It was clear what they had in mind; Ravi had to act quickly. So he hatched a plan and decided to disappear from there. That night after the call he had come inside and stayed up in wait for an opportunity to put his plan into effect as his family lay asleep in oblivion. He waited for morning and for people to be up and about as then even if he was gone the men wouldn’t dare to hurt his family. So in the morning, with Shreya and kids still asleep and guests of the resort jogging around, Ravi came out of the room. He left his phone at the spot outside to make it look like a kidnapping as though it had fallen while Ravi was being taken away. He hid in the room next to Shreya’s which was empty just to make sure his family was safe. He wanted to tell Shreya everything but decided against it for her and the kids’ safety. He hoped for Rajan and his men to think that some drug dealer who Rajan had been after had finally gotten rid of him. Perhaps then they would leave his family alone and Ravi would be able to work on the case and before you know it solve it too! As he had figured the news of Ravi disappearing was enough to get the men off his and his family’s back. Atleast that’s what he thought at that time.

At this piece of news Shreya looked visibly upset. Perhaps a few days were even explicable but what plan was it that made him stay away from his family for an entire year. She was angry at Ravi’s decision. She didn’t want to listen to anything Ravi had to tell her further. She felt betrayed for being kept in the dark for so long. What about the kids who kept asking where their dad was all the time? How could Ravi have been so stone cold and never for a while thought of what he had been making his family go through? She cried and asked him how it was fair at all? She had gone through hell this past year; having visions of Ravi lying dead in some god forsaken corner or the world and she would never get to know what happened to him. How could he have not thought about that?

Ravi knew that Shreya had just about had it. But he pulled her by his side and begged her to give him a few more minutes to explain. He was sorry for hurting her and abandoning the kids but he still wanted her to know the full story before it was too late. So he continued; he followed his family to Mumbai in disguise and then spent the first few days in arranging a hideout for himself. He had imagined it would be a matter of few weeks but little did he know how wrong he was.

He began tailing and gathering information about Rajan. His informers were also helping him in the same. Carefully he had slowly found his way to Rajan’s gang. Finally one day a deal was about to go down between Rajan and another mafia head. Ravi had waited for this opportunity and he anonymously informed the police about the place and time. He laid in wait for the moment of truth. Slowly the mafia bosses and their gangs arrived. As the deal was underway a young officer came in with the force. In the cross fire however; the police were grossly outnumbered and injured. To top it all out of all horrors; the officer was lying infront of Rajan. At any moment he would be killed right infront of Ravi’s eyes. Ravi had to act quick but without revealing his identity.

Before Rajan could shoot; Ravi offered to do the dirty work for him. He pulled the officer and then ensued a battle between the two. Ravi was just holding off till the police back up arrived so that he didn’t have to kill the officer to prove his loyalty to Rajan. His prayers were answered and soon the whole building was surrounded by the force. As Ravi continued the fight with the officer, blow after blow, Rajan called on to Ravi to help him escape from there. That was Ravi’s opportunity; if he could successfully take Rajan out of there alive he would get in on his circle of trusted members which would make it easier for him to gather evidence against him.

As Ravi began working with Rajan; he found out that Rajan had placed people on watch 24 by 7 outside his house. Rajan couldn’t believe that an astute officer like Ravi had vanished in air. He wanted to make sure that Ravi was gone for good and if at all Ravi was seen at the household or with the family; Rajan had given orders to finish them all. That closed all avenues of Ravi contacting his family before putting Rajan and his men behind bars.

Days passed and turned into months; Ravi was working with Rajan yes but still hadn’t managed a position inside his innermost circle which had knowledge of his every wrongdoing. Ravi had come so far and though he missed his family and wanted to go back to them, it wouldn’t be wise or safe to abandon his work in the middle. Gradually after almost a year; circumstances turned in favour of Ravi and finally by his loyalty towards Rajan he had finally become Rajan’s right hand man. He finally had every detail of Rajan’s horrific deeds. It was now a matter of weeks before his mission would be completed. Therefore Ravi decided to contact Sujith and Shreya; he needed Sujith for he had been Ravi’s partner for years and he would bring the needed backup to get Ravi’s plan to close. Also Sujith was somebody he could trust as there were several moles too in the force. He also knew that this mission would be dangerous so he needed Shreya to know the whole truth lest he wouldn’t be able to return; to forgive him for all the hurt.

In all this he needed Shreya to know that he hadn’t abandoned her, he never could. If this mission went down as he planned he would leave the force and make up for all lost time. Shreya was still mad at Ravi but then she was happy too for she finally was with him. Shreya wanted Ravi to stay longer but he had to leave. Both wanted to be together but that would happen in time as they say Time is what prevents everything from happening at once.

It was almost morning when Ravi finished; Shreya was scared and happy at the same time. She looked at Ravi and told him she would punish him once he is done with the mission. Ravi smiled and agreed to any retribution that lay in wait for him. He had to leave before daylight; prior to which he asked Shreya to meet Sujith and tell him everything. He would let Sujith know about the next meeting and the plan there after; till then he asked Shreya to be safe. He kissed her goodbye and went out the same way he had come in.

Shreya stood at the window for hours after Ravi had gone. She knew the next few days were going to be really important for both of them. It was 9 by the time she freshened up; she had to meet Sujith. She called him and asked to meet up at the coffee house near Parel. She was worried about Ravi’s safety but then again what good would her worry do for him. She knew Ravi wouldn’t stop till Rajan and his accomplices were apprehended. Lost in thoughts Shreya walked into the cafe; Sujith was already there. When Shreya related the whole story to Sujith; it was as if he instantly knew what he had to do. He also immediately called two of his trusted officers and asked them to keep a watch at Shreya’s place just to be sure that nothing untoward happened to her. It was again time for wait; but this time they knew what to expect. Till the next step; Shreya and Sujith lingered with baited breathe for the nightmare to come to an end.

Ravi waited anxiously for day when Rajan would be behind bars; he dreamt of spending time with Shreya and the kids without fearing for their safety. Shreya longed for a normal life with her husband and kids and prayed for things to settle soon. Sujith waited for the opportunity to catch the offenders who had casted havoc on the lives of many. They all had one thing in common; the resolve to see through this tough time as they say if you're going through hell, keep going for there will be light at the end of the tunnel! Would things go as planned; or would Rajan find out about Ravi’s scheme and harm him and his family; is what was left to be seen. Would Ravi’s gamble pay off; possibly it would as they say to dare is to lose one's footing momentarily but to eventually find what we sought in the long run.

The day finally arrived. Ravi had informed Sujith of Rajan’s warehouses and of the place where Rajan was about to come for a drug deal. They were going to simultaneously raid all the places. Ravi already had mailed the copies of evidence against Rajan to Sujith. Rajan liked to keep trophies of all his crimes; it gave him some sort of sadistic pleasure. Ravi found out about that and took that as evidence too. It only remained to arrest him before he got any hint and escaped the country. That would only happen if he was apprehended that night.

Shreya knew that it was the day that would decide the course of her life. If Rajan was caught; Ravi would come back safely to her. She prayed that everything would go down as planned. So at the stroke of 8 which was the stipulated time for the mission; Rajan’s men outside Shreya’s house were arrested; his warehouses were raided and most important of them all; Rajan was surrounded and arrested while in the middle of a deal.But Rajan was still defiant and mocked the officer saying that they couldn't hold him for long for lack of evidence. But he was wrong this time; there was a twinkle in the eyes of Sujith for he knew how wrong Rajan was. Ravi who by now had come out of his disguise to Rajan’s horror told him that several copies of Rajan’s misdeeds and trophies of his murders were mailed not only to the headquarters but to politicians and media houses. So even if his aides in the police force would want to get him freed they couldn't for fear of being discovered by the media. The time was up for Rajan and it was the time for Ravi to get back to his life.

Two months had passed since the incident; everything was back to normal infact even better than normal. As promised Ravi had taken a sabbatical from work; he had literally taken over the house. Shreya was now starting to paint again; Ravi wanted her to pursue her interests too. She had given enough years to the needs of the family; her kid’s and Ravi’s. He wanted to make up for all the lost time. He knew how much Shreya missed her passion for lack of time so he made sure she had enough free time at hand to create wonders with her brush. The kids were happy to have their dad back in their lives; though they still were as naughty as before. Their house was again a haven of happiness. They were together looking forward to a great life ahead. Infact they were soon leaving for the long due vacation to the Andaman’s. They finally resumed their lives from where it was left off at Khandala; they were having another shot at their happily ever after!

“May the sun shine, all day long,
Everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true!”