The storm that had been brewing in the political landscape of Punjab was now creating havoc in the State Assembly, where some Party members were silently watching the blustering MLAs of the Opposition demanding the resignation of the current Home Minister and Chief Minister. Few Party members close to Sardar Alam Khan and Abbas Malik still had the audacity of trying to support and defend them, but their efforts seemed meek and in vain. The Party head quarters also was surrounded by thousands of locals displaying unmasked hatred towards both the exposed culprits. On the other hand, a large number of youth of the State were showcasing their support towards Shahzeb Alam Khan, who had officially announced to the press that he will personally compensate the amount siphoned off by his father and Abbas Malik. He simply stated that he had joined the Party on his father’s insistence; and that his prime motto was to create employment and developing the career of the youth of his State. He was oblivious to the dirty gaming and greed for money of his own father and his companions. But when he got some inkling about the scam being carried out in the name of generating employment, he immediately submitted his resignation letter to the Party high command and stepped back. He himself contacted Abhay Kumar, who Shahzeb thought was the most promising young candidate for the next CM and his best of buddies. He laid all his doubts and fears in front of him and asked for his advice and help. They investigated a little, and what subsequently uncovered in front of them had devastated both of them. Shahzeb knew his father’s ways of handling and campaigning for elections to derive maximum benefit from them, but he never knew that he would use the hard earned money and sweat of the poor and helpless citizens.
When the arrest warrants were issued for both the culprits after Shahzeb’s shockingly impactful press conference on his so-called father’s recent plunder of the State treasury, the news had spread throughout the country like a wildfire. Nawaaz was constantly trying to reach his son, who seemed too busy in his monster mash-ups to care for anyone or anything else. Nawaaz rubbed his forehead and cursed under his breath when Shahzeb’s personal number went straight to his voicemail. Saba, who was literally trembling on seeing her father’s pale face and cuffed wrists on the TV, looked helplessly at her husband as tears flowed down her hollow cheeks.
“I am afraid that my mother won’t be able to handle this all by herself; she is alone in the haveli. I just hope this misery doesn’t engulf her soul before I manage to reach her.” Saba spoke incoherently; her voice was too hoarse to utter anything. It took all her strength to speak up through her choked up throat. Zoya stood up from her place and sat next to her mother-in-law, softly squeezing her hands in her warm ones, trying to assure her that everything will be okay. But in reality, she wasn’t sure herself if her devilish husband would show any sympathy towards Sardar Alam Khan.
“Zoya, I can’t sit here and let my mother drown into the sins that had been committed by my father. I never cursed my father, not because he is my father, but because I know that my mother will die if something happens to him before her time arrives. And whatever cruelest deed he may have planned and played upon me and Nawaaz, he never harmed Shahzeb ever. He threatened me, but he didn’t exactly do anything to him. And for that I will always be indebted to him. He was powerful and he could well have killed him when I was vulnerable and Shahzeb was just a baby. But he let us live. And I can never forget this favor, the only one that he had granted me after I met Nawaaz.” Saba broke into shattering sobs. She couldn’t let anyone hurt her mother, not even her own son, no matter how reasonable his implications might be.
“Go and make arrangements for a private jet in the next couple of hours. We are flying back to Delhi, and ask the GM Mr. Rafey to handle everything for a week. I will be just a call away if any emergency arrives. And you can also conduct the business through live conferences; just let your assistant handle your meetings through video conferences.” Nawaaz looked at his wife with helplessness, and ordered Bilal sternly. He heaved a ragged breath before dialing Raghav’s number again, who attended the call this time after just one ring.
“Ji Veerji,” Raghav answered immediately.
“Get the boy on call immediately.” Nawaaz almost barked on the phone as soon as he heard Raghav’s voice. Raghav flinched away from his cell for a moment, and then looked at the closed door of his employer’s office, where he was having a very confidential meeting with the Commissioner of Police along with Sardar Alam Khan’s and Abbas Malik’s lawyer.
“Veerji, he is in a meeting with the Police Commissioner and lawyer of Alam sir, they wanted to meet him urgently.” Raghav replied meekly; he couldn’t have guessed his veerji’s raging anger for his son’s outrageous plotting.
“That…f…” Nawaaz stopped himself before uttering any profanities in front of his daughter-in-law. “Listen, Raghav, stop him from doing anything rebellious anymore. I will be in Delhi by tonight. And listen, one more thing; just try to get Sardar Alam Khan’s arrest warrant recalled. I will handle everything once I get there.” Nawaaz impatiently instructed Raghav, who seemed clueless and confused after hearing Nawaaz’s words.
“What veerji? I mean, do you really want me to stop Shahzeb? You know, he has done all this for ap…”
“I know, I know why he has gone so far; and I also know that it must surely have cost him handsomely, setting up all this. But he does not know his mother yet. Do you think, I was incapable of trapping Sardar Sahab during all these years?” Nawaaz asked Raghav in a crisp voice, cutting him off in his tracks.