Where dreams come to die (Part One)

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She was seven years old when she was shot dead by Gur, her elder brother.

She was a delight to look at; a bundle of cuteness as many people remarked about her. Round face, rosy cheeks and button-like hazel eyes, she was like a teddy bear, only way more endearing. She mostly wore her hair in pigtails and talked with a slight lisp. She had one front tooth missing which made her toothy smile even better. Always dressed in clean and bright dresses, she rarely stepped out in the sun because her skin was averse to the heat. Youngest among all her siblings, she was the most loved and pampered of them all. Apart from Gur, she had two sisters, Geet and Garima as well.

His real name was Gurjeet but she affectionately called him Gur. She said he was her sweetest brother, as sweet as jaggery.

Their father, Amit, was a businessman and their mother, Aarti, a socialite. They lived in a mansion with an array of servants. Most of these people came from slums. They were paid good money and were always addressed politely. No one treated them with disparity. The children all addressed them as Aunties and Uncles. The servants too, in return, respected the family and worked with utmost diligence. Recently, they had employed a new driver because the previous one had died of some heart ailment. The new driver, Rakesh, was pleasantly surprised after seeing the treatment meted out to servants. He wasn’t used to it. In his past, his experience with rich employers hadn’t been exactly great.

Amit was a self-made man. His company had just undergone a successful merger with another, larger company and his workload had been trebled. He barely had any time for himself, but he always took out an hour daily, for his children. During this time, he took no calls or messages. He asked his kids about their day, their school; told them about his own day. It was perhaps the only hour where he laughed because he really wanted to. As a rule, he talked to his children like they were adults; intelligent and responsible adults. This was the reason they were turning out the same. He also tried his best to keep updated with their progress in school. Despite all this, he still felt as if he wasn’t giving them ample time.

Aarti was born and brought up in luxury with little idea of real world struggles. She had lived in a bubble with friends acting as robotic yes men around her and parents never paying much heed to her. However, all this was before she met her husband. She loved all her children equally. The scale of her love, however, tilted slightly in favor of her youngest daughter. She loved dressing her up, doing her hair, smothering her with love. All her other kids had turned teenagers and were in their respective rebellious phases. She knew the phase well since hers had lasted a lot longer than normal. She found solace in her youngest and feared the day when she too would be consumed by this zombie known as teenage!

All the kids went to the same school. It was a prestigious institution with students from all around the world. Gur, 17 was the eldest. After him, were the twins, Geet and Garima at 14 and the youngest was 7. She had only recently resumed her school after a short brush with illness. She was a bright student and was adored by teachers and friends alike.

Everybody loved her, but the one who loved her most was Gur: the brother who would eventually go on and kill her.

contd.

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