Anupama’s Promise on October 11, 2023. Anupama cast her gaze upon a peacock feather and a flute. Her eyes then rested upon a toy box, followed by a contemplative look at a slate. Her thoughts meandered back to a time when her son began to write, inscribing her name with tender strokes. A solitary teardrop cascaded upon the slate, and with a gentle touch, she wiped it away, inadvertently erasing the word ‘Maa’ from her name.
Samar, sensing her emotional turmoil, approached her and inquired, “Why did you remove ‘maa’ from your name?” Anupama, wrestling with her guilt, confessed that she had failed as a mother, unable to protect her son from the malevolent eye of fate. Samar, her ever-loyal son, vehemently disagreed. He reassured her, “You are a splendid mother. Do not shoulder the blame for circumstances beyond your control. It pains me to see you both in tears.” Anupama, her heart heavy with remorse, apologized for not calling him back when she discovered the ominous black thread, her voice trembling with regret. Samar, ever the understanding soul, consoled her, surmising that perhaps, even if she had summoned him, destiny’s hand would not have stayed.
Samar was adamant that the tragic incident was purely an accident, a stroke of ill fate that was no one’s fault, not Anupama’s nor Anuj Buddy’s. He expressed his fervent desire that his impending child not be born into an environment tainted by the specter of his brother’s death. With a tone of resolution, he implored Anupama to make a solemn pledge: to emancipate herself from the anguish of her son’s demise and to help others follow suit.
He philosophized, “In a world where death knows no discrimination, we must not halt our lives in its grim shadow. Promise me that you will emerge from the sorrow, wearing a smile that carries others along with you.” As a touching rendition of “Meri Maa” played softly in the background, he guided Anupama to rewrite ‘Maa’ on the slate and coaxed her into smiling. Anupama, inspired by his unwavering faith and love, complied, her smile a tribute to her departed son.
A scene unfolded in the living room as a semblance of normalcy returned. Anupama, brimming with newfound energy and strength, distributed turmeric milk to Kavya, coffee to Kinjal and Toshu, sugar-free cream rolls and tea to Babu ji, and tea to Vanraj. For Baa, who was nursing a sore throat, she prepared a soothing herbal concoction. When asked why they gazed at her with deep empathy, Anupama explained that she had made a promise to Samar never to shed tears in his memory. He had visited her in a dream, admonishing her against mourning, lest it hurt him. Her solemn mission was to ensure his happiness, and in doing so, to banish the sorrow that threatened to bind his spirit.
She expounded on the concept of salvation, which entailed liberating the soul from all earthly bonds, and shared her belief that Samar’s soul would take rebirth, imparting the values and traditions of their home. With an air of determination, she urged everyone to smile, no matter how arduous it might seem. Her words were a rallying cry for her family to celebrate Samar’s life rather than mourn his death. They mustered a fragile, yet sincere, smile in his honor.
Vanraj, however, questioned whether they could truly conceal their tears, particularly when it came to Dimpy, who appeared inconsolable. Anupama, ever the optimist, vowed to help Dimpy heal from the trauma.
Meanwhile, Anuj, lost in thought, mechanically signed documents without so much as a glance. Ankush, his concerned colleague, reminded him that life did not pause for the departed and encouraged him to focus on his work, which had languished for thirteen days. Anuj, perplexed by Anupama’s silence and lack of communication, expressed his fear of living without her. His apprehension was shattered when he spotted her at the doorway, an unexpected return.
In another corner of the house, Toshu endeavored to pacify a weeping Pari. Baa, irate with Kinjal for not staying home during this difficult period, voiced her disapproval. Dimpy, ever the empathetic soul, arrived, and her mere presence miraculously quieted the crying infant. In the midst of this, Vanraj mused that perhaps by embracing happiness, they might find a reason to smile amid their trials.
Anuj, astonished by Anupama’s presence, inquired about her intentions and whether she had truly returned for good. Choti Anu made her appearance, diverting the conversation towards a school project and dance class. As Anuj grappled with the complexities of her return, he confided in Ankush, who advised him to give her the time and space she needed.
The narrative took an unexpected twist as Anupama demonstrated that some wounds ran deeper than the eye could discern. Regardless, the message was clear: the promise to heal, the pledge to find happiness amidst sorrow, and the determination to ensure Dimpy’s recovery were the goals that would guide their journey.
The future remained uncertain, with the visit of Sonu’s father to the Shah household hanging ominously in the air. Anupama and Vanraj, united in their resolve, were prepared to face the impending storm. Anuj offered his support, which Anupama politely declined, confident in her ability to weather the storm alone. The ominous shadow of impending danger was cast, leaving them all in suspense.