Apologies for posting this update late. I wasn’t getting time to write. I had posted a note regarding it. In case, you missed it, I’m writing it here. I had a few commitments to fulfill, so I decided not to write it in a hurry.
Today I had some time, so the first thing, I did was write this update.
Won’t drag sad parts more.
I promise, this story will make up for all the tears we shed for Manasvi and Anshuman.
I’ve been asked if I will finish the story here. Yes, I will finish all stories that I begin in this blog.
Twisted Minds was the only one I stopped writing at Wattpad and removed it. Then, I didn’t finish it here and directly wrote the book. It was a different case. I never started it here. So, if you are reading a book here, rest assured, it won’t be left halfway. I can never do that.
But yes, I will keep removing parts and eventually the entire story after it is completed. I’ve suffered enough to trust online space anymore.
This is how we develop trust issues and get robbed off of our innocence and simplicity. But can’t help it.
Given a choice, I would have let all my stories free at Wattpad, forever. But then, some of the readers spoiled the fun for all of us. I still miss Wattpad.
Anyway, since we have moved on… let’s enjoy what we have in hand 😊
Thanks for all the love and support.
Love you all 🤗💖
Junaid was still speechless. He knew that Anshuman was destroying his prospects to be freed by telling his wife that he was going to Scotland. His decision was insane and inexplicable. Why would someone do that? It was self-destructive.
“What if everyone believes her that you are being freed? They will stop trying for your acquittal. It is dangerous.”
Anshuman shrugged, “Honestly, I don’t have much hope left for myself. It is a war of diplomacy and negotiation between the two countries. And my experience says that the tussle will go on for long, with not any hope of my release. But for that I can’t let Manasvi stay in Afghanistan all alone, for God knows how long.”
Junaid heaved a deep sigh, and said, “I wish I could understand that. On the one hand, your wife is in a really dangerous situation and she is all alone. On the other, you are trapped yourself. Can’t say who needs to be safer first.”
“Her. Any day.”
Anshuman smiled and confused Junaid all the more.
Manasvi was broken. She cried for the entire night.
Lonely, and distressed, she didn’t know how to take this development. She had been striving to get him acquitted. And she had been worried for him, until today. That pain was gone, only to be replaced by another.
She was immensely happy that Anshuman would finally be released and will live a free life. A life that he had been hoping. A life free of all the struggles, dangers to life, and hardships. A life well deserved.
It was high time, he got what was his due. She would always pray for him to be happy and content in his life.
But it was painful to realise that she was not a part of that life. That she was not the reason of his happiness and contentment. That he was happy without her and didn’t want her to accompany him in his journey. Instead, he wanted to be away from everything that reminded him of his past.
She had promised him that she will do this for him. For the first time, he had asked her for something. She could never let him down.
Early in the morning, Manasvi informed Krish and RajSingh Shekhawat that she was arriving in Delhi by the Air India flight from Kabul to New Delhi, taking off at 1:00 pm. She packed her bags and called Liz and Asfiya to inform them that she was going to India.
Liz and Asfiya came to the hotel to meet her for the last time and wished her the best for her future. They were both leaving for France, sometime in the following week. Manasvi didn’t know if she would have been able to manage in Kabul without them. She thanked them amply, invited them to India, exchanged phone numbers and finally said goodbye to them.
They dropped her to the airport. While on the way to the airport, thousands of thoughts crept in Manasvi’s mind, almost in tandem, rattling her mind for the variety of possibilities.
Can someone like Dr. Anshuman Shekhawat be so disturbed by his circumstances that he decided to leave everything and go to Scotland? Would he do that without meeting his family in Delhi? The family he loved beyond anything, the family who was trying hard to get him freed, his parents, Preksha, Dadi… will he leave them like that?
Okay, he didn’t want to take me with him…but at least, he could have met me once. I am going to India too.
Will Anshuman do that? Can he do that?
Leave PBB for a better future?
Leave clinical practice for research work?
Her heart couldn’t get itself to believe it. Already the pain of abandonment and loneliness had engulfed her. She had never been with Anshuman, but there was always a hope, at least. He had broken that thread of hope between them. He had taken away the comfort and warmth of her dreams and wishes to be with him, some day. Her heart was overwhelmed with emotions.
And now, this new doubt had started troubling her. Is he really going to be free?
Before entering the airport, at the departure gates, Manasvi asked Liz, “Liz, can you ask your husband if we can inquire where they have kept Anshuman and whether they are leaving him?”
“Give me a moment.” Liz was moved when she saw Manasvi so distraught. Her eyes were teary, reddened and swollen, for she hadn’t slept for the entire night. She looked lost and broken. Pale and weak, as if she would fall down any moment.
Liz called her husband and talked to him. She had already spoken to him about Manasvi and Anshuman and he had assured her that he would try to help them through his contacts in Ministry of External Affairs in Pakistan. After talking to him, Liz informed Manasvi, “He will try to get the information. Stay in touch after you reach India. We will let you know if we can do something.”
Manasvi hugged her and Asfiya, and thanked them both. “Hope we meet some day.”
“Take care of yourself.” Liz patted her back.
“We’ll miss you!” Asfiya hugged her back.
“I’ll miss everything about this trip. I gained and lost so much here, on this soil.”
She didn’t want to go. But she had promised Anshuman that she will go back. She had promised him that she will move on. Right now, she had no clue about him. But the least she could do was keep her promise to him.
“I’m doing this just for you, Anshuman. Just because I promised you.” Manasvi murmured to herself and made a move towards the departure gate and security check-in at the Kabul airport, feeling detached from her roots all over again.
When Manasvi reached India and walked out of the exit gates, after the Immigration check and other security checks, at around 5:00 pm, she was received by Anshuman’s entire family, RajSingh Shekhawat, Madhu, Preksha, and there was Krish, who had come from Mumbai to receive her.
Overwhelmed, Manasvi wept like a baby, hugging Madhu. Madhu consoled her and they took her home, along with Krish.
Manasvi sat with Preksha and Madhu, and Dadi for a long time, had dinner but again couldn’t sleep properly at night. She kept tossing and turning in bed, and when she was restless, she walked in the balcony, worrying about Anshuman. Preksha had postponed her marriage because of Anshuman. Could he leave her and go away without saying a proper goodbye? That was so not Anshuman.
She couldn’t stop her tears. “If it is a lie, I’m never going to forgive you.”
The next morning, she called Anshuman’s number. His phone was switched off. She didn’t know who had that phone but knew that whoever had it, had been helping them talk to each other. She decided to beg and request the person on the other side to tell her about Anshuman, if he was really being freed and if he was not, then, maybe help him be released.
But the call didn’t connect. It stayed off for the entire day.
Manasvi stared at the phone, hoping for it to ring. Hoping for Anshuman to ask her if she reached Delhi safely. Hoping for him to tell her that he was freed too, and was leaving Karachi for Scotland.
But it didn’t ring. RajSingh and Madhu told her that they had an appointment at MEA office on Tuesday where they would request the secretary to consider their application to appeal for Anshuman’s release in official capacity. Manasvi didn’t tell them about Anshuman’s call.
She couldn’t decide whether she should do that. If he was indeed being freed, and going away, this would break his parent’s and family’s heart. If he was still imprisoned, she couldn’t stop the process of his release. His family was terribly worried for him. They told her that her presence was not required. And it would complicate the case as she was still an Afghan national. Her presence was not good for Anshuman’s case.
Manasvi understood and told them to stay in touch with her, telling her about every development in the case. On her part, she would stay away. And would never come in limelight before any agency or media that she was related to Anshuman.
With a heavy heart, Manasvi said goodbye to Shekhawat family and returned to Mumbai with Krish, by an evening flight, next day.
One single moment had pushed her far away from Anshuman and his family.
In the flight, seated next to her, Krish tried to console her.
“Manasvi, we will do whatever we can to save Anshuman. I hope you know that not much is in our hands.”
Manasvi nodded vigorously, “I’m not ready to discuss. My emotions are all over the place. I’ve never felt this devastated before. I feel, I’m unable to breathe.”
“Take rest for a couple of days. Get your apartment in order. Come to office on Monday. Everybody is waiting for you to join.” Krish said.
“But, I can’t…” Tears flew down her cheeks.
Krish shrugged, “So, what are you planning to do to earn a living? Sure, you need to feed yourself and be able to pay the rent right? You can’t sit at home and brood for Anshuman. At job, you have ample things to distract yourself. Also, ours is a profession where we can actually think of doing something to help him.”
Krish made sense. The Insight was a job that she didn’t want to leave. She had got it after much struggle, and she had nothing else in hand. These were the people who valued her talent and work. She had to join something anyway. How long could she sit at home?
With a heavy heart, she said, “I’ll join on Monday.”
Krish smiled, “That’s great. Let’s see how Mr. Mehta and the team place you next. Work hard. Your experience with diverse backgrounds is golden. It will take you places.”
Manasvi ran her tongue to wet her dried lips and tried to smile meekly. She didn’t want to live with Anshuman and trouble him. She wasn’t dreaming of a life with him, anymore. But the least she deserved was a proper news about him. She decided she would be happy if someone told her that Anshuman was relaxed, free, and happy in Scotland.
But there was no hope left. She buried her face in her palms and sighed. Tears flew down in a constant stream from her eyes, for she was unable to bear anymore.
‘I don’t know where you are and I will probably never know. This stab will always stay in my heart like a thorn that pricked it, making it bleed, but was never taken out. This wound will remain unhealed in my heart, forever. It will never let me breathe free. It will never let me smile again. It will remain like a sore spot on my soul. I wish I could understand why a person like you would inflict so much pain upon someone.’