Recap S1E20 Raima with Khush : Raima tells Shom all that had transpired between Khush and her nearly ten years earlier.
It had begun when her ex-lover had been arrested on the grounds of being a terrorist. Taken in for questioning, Raima had sought Khush’s intervention.
Khush had been a tremendous moral support and the two had drawn together. Khush had tried to read her mind but Raima had kept Shom’s identity to herself.
Things had taken an interesting turn when the case had drawn to a close. The Vigilance Chief had offered them full security for staying off the radar for a while, provided they remained together. This had left both dumbfounded.
The vigilance chief mentioning the Land Yacht had left Raima and Khush dumbfounded. They had looked at each other with their mouths wide open.
Raima paused in her recollection of that moment. Shom too got a start and he stopped the car to look at Raima who was staring at him with questioning looks. They were on the highway, approaching Charoti.
“Can you imagine my state?” she said.
Shom looked away and she continued. ”You had told me the Land Yacht belonged to your rich friend, hadn’t you?”
Shom was quiet, he didn’t know what to say.
Raima continued. “Why did you hide things from me? What did you take me for; a gold-digger?”
Shom felt uneasy. He remained silent for a few moments before taking charge.
“What’s wrong with you my love, you are annoyed about what happened ten years ago?” he asked, shaking his head.
Realising her folly, Raima cooled down. Shom smiled at Raima and she smiled back.
“Please continue. I want to know what happened next.”
Raima resumed her narration.
Raima’s mind was full of questions. Was Khush the owner of the Land Yacht? Was he the rich friend Shom had mentioned? Somehow, she could not picture Khush in that position. Of all people, why was Khush the person Shom was indebted to? Raima did not like this one bit.
“The cat is out of the bag now,” Khush said, looking at Raima’s shocked face.
Raima did not react to Khush’s comment. Now she was even more desperate to get in touch with Shom.
“Why can’t we get our mobiles back?” she asked, a little agitated.
Khush calmed her down. “Let’s not jump the gun. It’s a sensitive issue and they have been extra nice to us. We will get our cells in a day or so. They have to follow the procedure. Shom will understand – he is quick on the uptake.”
Raima blushed at the mention of Shom. This was the first time she had heard someone utter that name but she didn’t like the casual manner in which it was done. Shom might not be his real name but he was a real man. How did Khush know him as Shom? They must be buddies, she thought. But how was that possible? They were so different, complete extremes. A dozen questions clamoured in her mind. She felt claustrophobic and her head began to spin. She wanted to get away from the hotel room as quickly as possible.
“What happened to your Land Yacht?” she asked.
“Although we can’t be in it for twenty-four hours, I will figure something out,” Khush said, giving Raima a mug of coffee. Then he went into his room and spoke to his friend on the intercom.
Minutes later, he knocked on her door.
“It’s all done. We can get away any time, as long as we are in the outskirts of the city. The only catch is that the security guys will be hanging around. We have only twenty hours to go before we are set free with our mobiles. I suggest we have an early lunch here. That way we will pass some time before boarding the vehicle.”
“Okay, thanks,” said Raima.
In an hour’s time, they boarded the Land Yacht and as Raima entered it, memories of Shom came flashing through her mind.
She couldn’t get over it. They started coming to her frame by frame. Her mind was cut off from what was going on and she had no idea about the instructions Khush gave the driver. Fortunately, unlike Shom, he used the intercom instead of lowering the glass. She was in no mood to come face to face with the driver. In any case, she missed Shom unbearably and was virtually in tears which she couldn’t hide.
“Hey, don’t worry Raima. It will all be better soon,” Khush said, offering her his handkerchief.
“Thanks, Khush. Where are we heading?” She wanted to know.
“We’re going to see the sunset at Jampore beach in Moti Daman,” he said. Not knowing what to make of it, she kept quiet.
“Do you have a joint? I need to relax a bit,” she said. The events of the past few days apart, she felt awkward in the Land Yacht without Shom.
“This vehicle is always equipped with it. Let me get it out.”
Khush lit one and handed it over to Raima. She took a few deep drags.
“Nice stuff,” she said and gave it back to Khush.
Khush stocked the best weed available in the country. Half an hour later, they had shared two joints. Raima was quite high now and she broke down.
“I want to be with Shom,” she said. “Why don’t you help me? You are such a big man and Shom is your dear friend. Why don’t you bring us together? He is always running away from me.’”
She closed her eyes and let the weed take over. Despite some resistance from Khush, she lit another one.
“Haven’t you had enough?” he asked. She ignored the question.
“I’ve come to realise that I can make a lot of money, but only with Shom’s guidance,” she continued. “He’s so brilliant. He inspires in me ideas I have never thought about and guides me through them. I’ve already begun to achieve far more than I did earlier. With his love and guidance I can become rich and successful.”
Her face lit up as if she could see her dreams coming true right in front of her. Then she looked at Khush with a sad face. “But you know Shom. He doesn’t care for money. It doesn’t impress him. He showers it ceaselessly on me. I can imagine what you must be thinking. So let me set it straight. I know he loves me more than anything else but don’t tell him I said that. Anyway, now I know you are his rich, very rich friend. How are you so bindaas? I thought a lot of money is not good, it makes you uptight and you end up wanting more and more. Then all you do is worry about your name, fame and responsibilities. But you are an accomplished big shot and yet such a bindaas guy. I like that. Hey, what you doing? Please give it back, I’m not done,” Raima cried out, lunging over to get back the joint.
“Don’t bogart that joint my friend, pass it over to me!” Khush said. Raima looked at him and started laughing. Khush joined in. Then they started singing.
‘Don’t bogart that joint my friend, pass it over to me. Roll another one just like the other one. This one’s burnt to the end come on be a friend…’
In the midst of their laughing and singing, Raima hugged Khush. Suddenly, she sobered a bit.
“I am grateful you’re helping me in such dire circumstances. I know you are doing it for Shom. You love your friend and you like me too. You have done so much for me already. Has Shom told you everything about me? Please, please tell me. Why is he so restrained, controlling his feelings all the time? He takes his responsibilities so seriously like such an honourable man. Why can’t you make him like us? Wait a minute, are you the one who is responsible for him being over-burdened lately?” She looked at him accusingly.
She suddenly realised something and with a finger pointing at Khush said, “Yes, it’s you! You’re his nasty, rich friend. You were the one who called him up when we were at Don Giovanni. You told him that I was a bitch and a whore. You, my client – my foot,” she said in disgust. Tears slicked her eyes.
Khush tried to calm her but she got aggressive and started blasting him.
“Poor Shom. He confides in you completely and you take advantage of him just because you want to whore around with me. The only reason you called me up the next day was to act fresh and score with me. You’re a filthy rich guy and he is such a brilliant man. If he wanted to, he could make tons and tons of money. I will make all the money now, he doesn’t need your money. He’s such a noble soul and he admires you as a friend. This was evident that night even though his mood was spoilt after you worked on him.” Raima started to sob uncontrollably.
“Please take all the poison out of your system. Get it all out, your pent up feelings and stress,” said Khush.
She cried until she was exhausted. Khush quietly gave her a glass of chilled guava juice.
“Sorry,” she whispered. “The grass hit me.”
“I know,” Khush replied. “Now do you want to know about Shom and me?”
“I didn’t have the authority to disclose anything, but now it’s a fait accompli. We both are in a trap of mistaken beliefs,” he started and revealed the secret about Suman Bhatia being Shom’s real name. “I call him Shom and we are childhood friends living at Candy Castle, opposite Strand cinema in Colaba. Shom made a lot of money single-handedly. He put up a large setup which has humongous overheads. He doesn’t work for me. I pick up some contracts from him from time to time.” Saying this, he looked Raima in the eye.
“Now you know that it’s Shom who is the rich friend with a whole lot of responsibilities and other burdens. There are hundreds of families at his workplace dependent on him, besides his own. I really feel for him as a friend and now for you too, more so since I can tell you guys love each other immensely. I’m bindaas because I am virtually free. My kids are all grown up; they have a life of their own. They don’t need me. My wife is a very busy person. I am available to her whenever she needs me. However that’s seldom. As such, I can afford to be bindaas. Shom got married late in life and he has young kids who look up to their dad for everything. So yes, he has money and responsibilities – tons of them. I have to protect him and now you too. But I have to say that both of you are misguided. Raima, you are so young. You must get married and settle down in life with a family and kids. I beg you both to get out of this dream world and face reality. Let’s spare his poor kids and think about yourself too. He loves his wife. He is emotionally weak – he is not strong like you and me. Please spare him. I beg of you again.” He went down on his knees.
For the first time, Khush, the bindaas Parsi bawa turned emotional. Raima hugged him.
“Now I understand you and I understand Shom’s plight. Poor Shom.” she said, her voice trailing off.
“Yes poor, rich man,” said Khush.
Raima stared at the space in front of her. What was she supposed to do now? How could she live without Shom? The thought pierced her heart and she began to cry on Khush’s shoulder.
Next Story: S1E22: Shom and Raima Get Compassionate