Well first let me thank you all for following this story right from the beginning. For those of you who missed the previous parts here are the links.
Now for the story,
Mohit looked at Twisha, and then at Ria. Both of them were staring silently at him. The silence was accusing him of many things and he wanted to defend himself. Instead, he opened his mouth and said the words before he could stop himself.
“So what is it that you want?”
He regretted the words the moment he said them.
“So you really haven’t changed, have you?” asked Ria.
“No need to answer that actually. I realised it the moment you walked into the house. You haven’t changed from the man who left me when I was angry and confused, the one whose actions broke me further. You really did not have the patience to deal with mending what you damaged, fixing what you fractured. It was Twisha who helped to rebuild, picking up the pieces, repairing the broken fragments that you left scattered.”
She broke down, and Twisha reacted instantly.
“Maasi, sit on the sofa. The doctor said it is not good for you to stand for long.”
Twisha looked up and saw a very shocked and confused Mohit.
“Yes, I was so excited to come live here in Mumbai, when Baba gave my custody to Nanaji and Nani. I was happy that I will get to live with Maasi, especially after all the fun we had when she had come visiting.”
“So that trip was about you?” Mohit asked.
“Yes it was, but when I came back with Nanaji and Nani, she was not the same any more. She just cried all day. I did not understand what had happened. Then one day, I heard her talking to Nani, I heard her tell Nani about what you did. All that mattered was the wedding was cancelled. And that was because you ran away, Mr. Mohit. You made a choice to run away from what you did. You made a choice to not face the consequences.”
“I cannot undo what I did, but we could start again. Let me take care of you guys. Twisha, you could start working for me.”
Ria started laughing.
“We don’t need you in our lives, Mohit. Twisha and I have a good life here. After Mom and Dad passed away, we had only each other. And we have built a great life like that. We don’t need you to validate us.”
“Yes”, Twisha agreed. “All this was not to bring you back into our lives. We need you to face the consequences of what you did. I want you to understand the pain and the agony Maasi felt when she lost what was the most important thing in the world to her. We want you to understand what happens when you are lied to or used, even if it is unintentional.”
“So, why this drama with the tunes and everything? I could not undo it then, I cannot undo it now. Ria herself said that she would have let me use the tunes, all of them if I wanted to. I was excited. I did not ask her before.”
Twisha saw that Mohit was irritated, but she continued calmly.
“The drama”, she made quotes with her fingers as she spoke, “as you call it, was to tell you this. I would like you Mr. Mohit, to tell everyone, whose tune you used for the jingle; the truth about who made you. I want you to tell the world about the choice you made to further your ambition. It is simple really, either you confess or else I will tell the truth to the media tomorrow. I want you to feel what Maasi felt all these years. What it is like to lose it all. That is all. And now you may leave.”
Twisha’s voice had finality in it.
Mohit looked at Ria, but she looked away. Losing her love to his ambition had hardened her heart. He went back to his office home, as he called it. It was a small room where he slept, and it was attached to his studio. This was the first investment he had made with his money, and he never lived away from his work. It was easier to record tunes on the spur of the moment even at night. Today, as he struggled with the decision of making an impossible choice, even his studio did not offer him solace.
The next morning Preeti walked in as usual, but found the studio to be eerily quiet except for the radio was playing in the background in the empty room. There was a lot of work to be done and she wondered where Mohit sir was. She settled her things on the table and walked to the door of his office. She knocked thrice and opened the door when there was no answer. The room was empty. The guitar that had the place of pride was also missing. The diary was lying on the table and a piece of paper lying below the diary. She took it and began to read.
Our life is full of choices. Some we make, some are made for us. I made a lot of them, but the one that defined me was the one that I made unintentionally. That is the choice that changed the course of my life. I did not want to lie to you, Ria, nor did I want to take that tune from you. I just got excited and I went with the flow. Lack of communication can lead to a lot of problems. I just did not realise that we would be facing those problems. I always assumed that you would understand.
I never realised how it would have looked to you. I disappear for a week and your tune ends up on radio with my name. I still believe you would not have said ‘no’, had I asked you, but I cannot change the fact that I did not ask you. It is done and it got me where I wanted to get. My only regret is not asking you first.
Twisha, you are right. This agony of losing what is dearest to you is crippling. I can’t imagine what Ria must have gone through. And you as a kid, to have to grow up with that, it is just so wrong. Even if I say I am sorry, it won’t begin to mend what I broke. But Ria was strong, to face the loss and come out stronger than before. Me, I am just not that strong. I can’t live without my music; my ambition is what made me then. It is what makes me now.
Yes, I took Ria’s tune. I called it my own and became famous. But all the work I did after that was my own. I never touched that diary again. It was only a reminder to as to how it all began. But with this letter, my credibility will be doubted and I will be questioned at every step.
Twisha, you wanted me to face the consequences of my choice. But like I said, I am not so strong to face the ramifications that this letter carries. By the time you get this letter, I will be gone. I hope to live a life of anonymity. Maybe that is again my choice or my punishment.
Before I go I have left the studio to you, Twisha, and Ria’s diary too. You have the talent to make the right use of it. Remember, it is the choices we make that make us, Twisha. Hope you always make the right ones.
As Preeti finished reading the letter she heard a tune on the radio, the tune that started it all, was the one playing in the end.