A thrilling tale of unconditional love amidst danger and certain death!
Security expert Nikhil Mahajan is in mortal danger. Gravely injured and unable to see, he is in the midst of hostile strangers in an unknown place. Any hope of survival is fast fading away.
Something about her patient tugged at Ayesha’s heart. It was madness to get involved, and yet… there was something about the quiet courage with which he faced his situation that would not let her look away. After all, it was a rare man who could retain not just his composure, but also his wit in the face of certain death.
She had to do something even if helping him might mean sharing his fate.
Nikhil was already awake when she tinkled into the room. He didn’t move. Normally he followed her as she worked around him. Let her sweat a bit thinking he had died. He could make out she was arranging the food and medicine on a recess made in the wall which served as a table.
“I know you are awake!” she said.
Hearing her amusement, Nikhil grinned. “How did you know?”
“Your plastered foot twitched when I came down.”
“It’s probably attracted to you.”
Silence. He had embarrassed her, he thought. She was, after all, a sheltered, small-town girl. “Ah doc, don’t give me that silent treatment. You are my window to the outside world. How can you remain silent? Tell me what should I call you? TV or Google?”
She went about her work without engaging with him again.
“Or shall I call you Roshni? You are the only ray of sunshine in my life. Or maybe Sunshine. Yes, Sunshine has a nice ring to it…”
He knew she wouldn’t respond easily, but it was good to talk to someone even if the conversation was one-sided. If he was going to die soon, he’d be damned if he died of boredom.
“So Sunshine, how is the weather today? Is it snowing or is it sunny and bright?”
In answer, she ripped the bandage on his ankle.
“Aah…” He winced and smiled. “Oh, it’s raining. Great, thanks for an answer.” He smiled and winced, alternatively, as she changed his dressing. “Tell me something—” he began when the dressing was over.
“Water,” she touched the straw to his lips.
“Do you use a different straw each time?”
She was provoked into snapping, “Hygiene is the least important thing you should be worried about at the moment.”
“Will worry help my cause?”
She didn’t say anything.
“I wonder what’s the color of your eyes,” he babbled with the straw still in his mouth.
“What’s happening!” a man shouted.
In shocked reaction, she yanked the straw from his mouth. The water dribbled down the corner of his mouth as the utensil hit the ground.
“You are talking to him!” the man barked, now near the bed.
Then he heard a thwack. The girl gasped.
“What the hell!” Nikhil shouted. The man had slapped her!
There was a scuffle around the bed as the man continued to scold her in their native language. Nikhil couldn’t understand a word. The girl grunted again and the bells in her ensemble jingled in protest. He heard her being dragged up the stairs.
“Wait… no!” Nikhil panted with anger, guilt, and helplessness, his limbs in agony as he struggled to rise. Then, there was silence in the room. He lay back on the cot praying she would be okay. Who was the man, anyway? Her brother? Or her husband?