Part 17 Recap- Ram returns home tired from work in need of some rest. Priya decides to irritate him by getting into his bed before him thus forcing him to sleep on the couch. However, when Ram climbs into bed beside her it startles Priya. She wants to get out but Ram holds her back joking about how good he is to get her to join him in bed after just a few hours. Unable to escape Priya starts crying. Ram immediately sets her free unable to handle the sight of her tears. Ram insists that he was simply joking and that he would never think about forcing himself on her. But Priya is not satisfied with his explanation. Instead of getting angry with him, she simply states that she is disappointed, not expecting this kind of behavior from a man who she thought had some level of respect for women.
Priya leaves the room. Ram can’t sleep. Following her in the darkness of the hallway, Ram sees Priya talking to his father outside his parent’s bedroom. Ram thinks for sure she was going to rat him out but once again Priya proves him wrong. She clearly has no intention of ruining an already broken relationship to a point beyond repair. Priya simply wanted to see if Kush was awake so that she could take him with her back to Ram’s room.
Ram heads over to his favorite spot in the mansion, the balcony. Deciding he must apology to Priya he scours his brain for ideas, coming up empty handed. The last time he tried to apologize to Priya it ended up in a kiss, which of course Ram blames Priya for because she wouldn’t shut up and listen to what he had to say. To prevent the same from reoccurring, Ram decides he must come up with a way to apologize to Priya without actually saying that he was sorry.
In the present scene Ram and Priya share a steamy shower before getting dressed to go out for a ride. Both seem to know that they can’t be together forever and for some reason the clock is ticking on their love.
“Penny for your thoughts”, Mocked an amused voice inside of Ram's clueless head. He was a billionaire businessman whom had built an empire with much ease from scraps of the very same thoughts, which now failed him. Ram sighed deeply combing his fingers through the lush fields of his hair and pivoting to lean against the cold steel rails on the balcony. It had not been his intention to hurt Priya but it seemed as though he was developing a tremendous talent in that department. Having achieved damn near everything Ram was easily a master of sorts. However, he lacked the one thing that he needed the most in his current predicament, compassion. Unsure of his next move Ram nervously made his way to his bedroom like a stranger in his own home. Although he had acknowledged that an apology was in order, Ram had not a clue as to how he would pursue the task. Failure plagued his mind, unable to produce a solution. A simple sorry stated in the classic, conventional manner seemed farfetched even to his heightened ego. Ram knew he needed to come up with a method of apology, which offered a little more leverage after what he had done.
A blank expression masked his face as he stood outside his bedroom with his left hand cradling the chrome-polished doorknob. It didn’t take a psychologist to arrive at the obvious conclusion that Ram was frightened to enter. As if in his room there was a test in progress for which he hadn’t studied in advance.
“C’mon Ram,” He muttered in an attempt to persuade himself. “Why the hell are you standing out here like a thief? It’s your bedroom dammit!” Ram cautiously took a step forward pausing to comb his fingers through his hair and with his eyes shut tight he exhaled deeply.
“Ram Beta?” Hearing his name uttered in the dark, Ram spun around in shock nearly tripping as his feet tangled in the rush. “Sambal ke Beta.” Steadying himself, Ram looked up to see his mother standing in front of him with Kush, who seemed very much awake, embraced in her arms. Ram noticed the glisten in Kush’s glare as he watched him curiously; it became clear that he had been crying.
“Ram, who were talking to just now?” Krishna piped up scanning the empty hallway.
“Umm, no one Ma I was just umm… I was talking to myself.” Ram’s ego palmed his forehead unimpressed by his attempt at an excuse. However, unknown to Ram, Krishna had overheard his little pep talk. In fact, she found his hesitation to enter his own bedroom rather amusing.
“Are you sure beta?” She probed, concealing her amusement Krishna continued to feign innocence.
“Ma it’s nothing!” Ram stated firmly. “What are you doing here at this hour anyway?” The answer to his question was clear; it had teary eyes and a thumb lodged in his mouth like a pacifier. But for Ram he simply asked anything just to swerve the conversation off track and more importantly, off him as the subject.
Krishna understood exactly what her son was up to and so she obliged saving him further embarrassment. Besides she was thoroughly entertained by then; amusement that he couldn’t rob her of anyhow. “Kush had a little accident,” Krishna started as she handed Kush over to Ram. “And I foolishly forgot to carry diapers for him. Besides your Papa brought up a valid point, Priya must be missing Kush.”
“Wait, what?” Ram’s face shaped in disgust as he finally processed or rather smelt what his mother meant by ‘little accident’. He held Kush out in front of him like a sac of potatoes. Startled, Kush watched on confused and unsure of how to react. “Take him back! Priya is in the room you go give him to her.”
Krishna refused, “Oh come on Ram behave yourself. He is just a baby. Besides, you should be thankful. Kush is your key back into your bedroom.” She chuckled unable to contain her amusement any longer. “Good night beta!” Planting a kiss on Kush’s forehead, Krishna stroked the side of Ram’s face absorbing every ounce of humour in his flabbergasted expression.
“Gross.” Ram said staring at Kush whose bottom lip began its curl outwards. “No, no, no don’t you dare.” Ram ordered as he swung open his bedroom door and jolted in. Hoping to get rid of his nephew before the water works began, Ram’s eyes searched for Priya to no avail. “Where the hell is she?”
Just as that thought crossed his mind, Kush began wailing, not taking to kindly to being handled with no affection. Ram ran to the bathroom holding Kush like a shield in front of him. “Priya!” Ram screamed out for her in the abandoned room over Kush’s escalating tantrum.
Priya was nowhere to be found like solace, which was once contained within the four walls of his bedroom. Seeing no other alternative, Ram decided he had to do something to silence Kush. His undying wailing was wrecking havoc on Ram’s last panicked nerve. How hard could this be? Ram consoled himself, placing Kush in the bathroom sink. The cold ivory surface agitated Kush further as Ram picked at his diaper looking for a way to undo it. “Oh god. Oh god. Oh god, oh god, oh god.” Ram chanted taking the first and then the final sticky diaper tab off. Seeing that the ‘little accident’ wasn’t so little after all Ram began pacing in the bathroom searching frantically for a way out of the mess.
“Okay, okay, hold on, hold on!” Ram tried consoling Kush from afar. His cheeks had turned tomato red from crying. And in all the chaos, only one solution came to Ram’s mind. Sliding the glass doors back Ram turned on the shower, adjusting the water until it was lukewarm. Lifting Kush out of the sink, Ram placed his messy bottom up towards the showerhead.
It worked! Ram thought, an accomplished smile highlighting his lips. If he hadn’t known any better it seemed as though Kush was enjoying himself too. The crying had ceased and Kush’s bottom was slowly being cleaned. Ram didn’t even care that he was getting wet. Heck, even his ransacked bathroom didn’t bother him either. Kush kicked his legs ecstatically in the air as beads of water from the gentle rainfall shower tickled his tiny feet. Ram had done it, he had accomplished mission impossible.
“What the hell is going on here?” Priya’s voice rose from behind him just when he thought that nothing could ruin his mood there she was to stick a dagger in his slice of happiness.
“Oh my gosh Kush.” She leaped forward to snatch Kush from Ram but Ram held him back.
“No!” Ram took Kush in his embrace and out of Priya’s reach. Turning off the shower Ram snapped back, “Where the hell were you when he needed you? I cleaned him up! You can’t just sweep in here and take all the credit.”
“Mr. Kapoor, he’s going to get sick! Let me dry him off at least.”
“No way!” Priya watched as Ram grabbed a towel hanging behind the bathroom door and wrapped Kush warmly in it. “Nothing to it.” He said as he finished.
“You’re so immature.” Priya stated shaking her head in disbelief.
“You’re just jealous that I was able to take care of Kush so well. It must bug you to know how easily you could be replaced.”
“Oh please…” Priya drew a circle in the air with her hand bringing the mess in the bathroom to Ram’s attention. “I can see just how magnificently you have handled this whole situation.”
“Yeah whatever. Where the hell were you?”
“Waise, it’s none of your business but if you must know, I was talking to my Papa. Is that a crime?”
“What was wrong with talking in the room? And also, what the hell are you feeding Kush?” he pointed to the dirty diaper in the sink. “That can’t be normal for someone his age.”
Ram was repulsed watching Priya bundle the dirty diaper chucking it in the nearby trashcan. “Mr. Kapoor you are so arrogant. Kush is just a baby.”
“And when the hell did I say that he is a grown man. All I am saying is that you should put him on a healthy diet or something.” Kush yawned in Ram’s arms, his drowsy eyes fighting to stay open.
“Excuse me!” Priya blurted out clearly offended by Ram’s remark. “If anyone needs to be put on a diet it’s you Mr. Kapoor.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean? Are you suggesting that I am fat?”
“No Mr. Kapoor.” She stated sarcastically. “I am stating it outright. You’re definitely not skinny.”
“You take that back right now,” Ram hollered at her.
“No, I refuse to lie!” She snapped back just as viciously.
“Listen---“ Ram’s sentence came to an abrupt halt. His clothes were drenched from the shower but suddenly Ram felt something warm trickle down his belly. “What the hell man!” Priya watched with a beaming smile on her face as Kush put the brakes on Ram’s raging ego. “He peed on me!” Ram complained handing Kush over to Priya in a hurry but the damage was done.
“Good, it serves you right! Priya stated, adding insult to injury before leaving the bathroom in a laughing fit. She had never been more proud of Kush than in that moment. “That’s my baby boy.” She kissed Kush’s forehead as she triumphantly headed back to the bedroom.
The weather was rather nice owning to the breeze, which added a cool touch to the otherwise thick humid air. It was a casual outing for the couple but for lovers no meeting ever falls short of a date. Hand in hand they walked cherishing the closeness amongst them, never taking it for granted. Twenty-four measly hours together was all that they had left before they would be forced to part ways, hopefully not forever. Although the thought of separation stung at the back of their minds, Ram and Priya had silently vowed to not let an unforeseen future consume the beauty of their present experience. The garage door rose up slowly at the push of a button as though to graciously unveil Ram’s collection of vehicles. Having the love of his life by his side and his collection of cars in front of his eyes Ram needed nothing more to be happy. A smile danced on Ram’s lips before he caught a glimpse of his loving wife.
“What?” He questioned reading the stern look on Priya’s face.
“I can’t believe this,” She shook her head feigning disbelief. “You’re like a fat kid in a candy shop.”
“Are you calling me fat again Priya?” Ram stated boisterously letting go of her hand. “You know I am sensitive and besides Dadi says I am healthy.” Turning his face away like a stubborn child, Ram complained.
Exhaling deeply Priya walked over to Ram, being unable to resist the urge she tugged his cheeks gently. “No my Golu Molu.” Ram glared at her unimpressed shrugging her hands away. “Arey… if anyone should be mad right now it’s me.” She stated, wisely using the one tactic she knew would catch him off guard.
“What? Why?” Ram asked, hoping that this wasn’t the making of another fight.
“Well?” She continued teasing him, flipping the tables in her favour. “The way your face lights up when you step into this garage. I mean I have a right to be a little jealous being your wife and all. These expensive pieces of metal and paint hold more value in your heart than me.” Priya sulked; pouting her lips she stole a page right out of his book.
Ram remained stunned, frozen in his spot. “Pieces of metal and paint?” That thought alone was too farfetched to be considered as grounds for an argument even for a vehicle enthusiast like him. Priya was unpredictable and he loved that about her. But sometimes that same love of his worked against him. Deciding it best to let her win this ridiculous metal and paint round, Ram began speaking as calmly as he could. “What? Baby, how can you say that I love my cars more than you? Haven’t I proved anything to you about my love in these last 48 hours? Or shall we go back upstairs so I can try again?” Ram finished on a naughty note forcing her lips to shape into a shy smile.
Approaching her, Ram wrapped his arms loosely around Priya’s waist, placing an innocent kiss on her forehead. “How do I prove that I love you more Mrs. Kapoor?” He asked, not realizing how much he would later regret his own question.
“Hmm…” Priya pretended to think, swaying comfortably in his hold. “I want you to let me drive.” She ordered with a smile too angelic to refute.
“No problem my love. What’s it going to be today? The Benz, Land Rover or better yet your favourite, the Jaguar?” Ram offered Priya with luxurious options like a top car sales man. But unfortunately none of his suggestions matched the vehicle of her choice.
“I want to drive that one!” She pointed to the lone electric red sports car parked elegantly in a corner away from the others.
“The F12?” Ram asked, his voice uncharacteristically screechy.
“Yes!” Priya stated with certainty, walking towards the ride of her choosing. She knew very well that that car was Ram’s baby and it was for that reason alone she had decided to choose it as her ride. How else would she fairly judge whether Ram loved her truly or not? That was her justification.
“But that’s Berlinetta…” Ram whined following Priya closely as the man-child inside of him threw a massive tantrum sensing that he would eventually have to succumb to her wishes. How can you ask a man to choose between his car and his wife? Ram thought to himself while trying to come up with reasons why Priya couldn’t drive his baby. Reasons that were valid enough to not get him killed or even worse, divorced.
Priya turned around and faced him, shaking her head in disbelief. “Really Ram? Berlineta?”
“But Priya…” Ram complained
“No Ram. Whatever happened to proving that you love me more? You’re the one who proposed the idea. Now you have to decide? Who’s it going to be Berlinetta or me?” She placed her foot firmly on the ground and crossed her arms, waiting for her flustered husband to respond.
Knowing he was trapped in his own net, Ram tried his best to not whine as he attempted one last time to steer Priya away from Berlinetta. “Priya… but the F12 is not your average car. I mean it’s a beast. That baby, I mean that thing can go from 0-100 in 3.2 seconds. Just imagine. That’s less than 4 seconds Priya… Can you believe it? It’s quite dangerous if you think about it carefully!”
Uninterested Priya replied without a hint of sarcasm in her voice. “And I can go from happy wife to angry wife in less time then that. You decide what’s more dangerous for you.”
Pausing for a moment to take in Priya’s words Ram thought to himself, “It’s true. Berlinetta is harmless, but Priya on the other hand…” Inhaling deeply ram made what he felt to be the toughest decision of his entire life. “O-okay, no problem. I love you more so…you can drive Berlinetta…” Ram finally concluded with his head hung in shame from having betrayed his baby.
“Yay!” Priya jumped up in glee and hugged him. “I love you baby.”
As they walked to the car and got in Ram had beads of sweat collecting on his forehead. Even the subtle breeze failed in its attempts to cool him.
The powerful roar of the engine sounded like a cry for help. Ram sat low in his seat, his heart stuck in his throat. Loosening his tie he whispered a silent prayer before glancing at his wife, hoping that this was just a nightmare or a bad joke at least. “You ready baby.” She asked with a huge smile on her face, revving the engine. Ram nodded, trying his best to sound as excited as she was, “yep!”
As she began accelerating, within seconds a loud crash bounced off the walls of the garage followed by the sputtering sounds from the once roaring Berlinetta breathing her last.