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Monday, February 11, 2013

Chapter 24 - Roots and Routes

“I still don’t get the connection ASR. The poem describes the picture. The numbers in the poem must somehow be connected with the painting. But in the end, what do those numbers mean?”

“Beats me. I think we need to go to the source. We need to go to Zurich Museum, talk to the curator there and figure out.” ASR finished his thought.

“Hmmm” Khushi meandered into some distant haze and then snapped out, “You know what! I can meet my mother’s sister Martha there. Maybe, she knows about Jakub and she can help us understand more about the painting, and…” she paused, “tell me more about Sarah…I mean my mom.I wonder why Martha didn’t claim Jakub’s paintings?” She set her eyes down, as if the name reminded of her illegitimate status and shame.

“Call your Dad to get your aunt’s address. And do you have a current passport?” ASR asked.

“Yep, my passport is in the office safe. I will have to go to the hospital and collect it. Do you think its safe?” she queried.

“I wont let you go by yourself, Khushi. No worries. “ He assured her.

So it was decided. They were to travel to Zurich and find out more about the painting, Khushi’s ancestors and the connection to the Sabres.


“Whats this?” ASR picked a bag of syringes and held it up.


“What? Why are we taking syringes of valium?”

“You never know!” Khushi quipped, “it may come in handy if we have to deal with big bad guys. I don’t want to kill again.”

He put the bag back in her luggage and asked, “Don’t you need prescription for this?”

“Why do you think I am a doctor, ASR?” She twined her arms around his waist and kissed his muscled back.

“Well, then. Doctor, I think I need to be treated because I have this grave condition.”

Playing along, Khushi walked around to face him, “Yes, how may I help you?”

“I think I need some rocking sex to cure me, doctor. Do you think you can help?”

ASR’s invitation left her laughing and wanting him even more than she thought she ever could. The clothes flew around the room and their naked bodies flopped on the bed. Their noisy affair was enough to wake up the entire apartment building but what they didn’t know, was that it was a precursor to an avalanche.


Garima and Sasi were at the airport. Khushi least expected to find them there. The apologies on their faces tore through her heart as she tried to reconcile the events of the past. The gate checks went well and soon enough, the couple was on its way to Zurich.

As the flight passed over Transatlantic seas, Khushi’s nervousness began to mount. ASR knew she was afraid to find out more about her ancestors and what lay in store when the secrets of the Sabres were revealed. She held his hands through the flight unable to eat or enjoy on flight movies. ASR urged her to sleep, so they could resume their investigation as soon as they landed at Zurich.

Zurich airport was an expansive mess. German instructions did not help either of them and after asking a lot of passersby, they located the tram that took them to their hotel. The cold, bleak landscape was broken by distant promise of Alpine and a hope of final discovery. Khushi breathed in the air brushed from the Alps and marinated in local smog. ASR smiled at her, feeling for her.

A steep cable car later, they were in their rooms.

“Do you want to call the number your dad gave you?”

Khushi nodded. The number belonged to her mom’s sister, Martha. She showered and changed and finally dialed the number with trembling fingers.

“Hallo das ist Martha Schneider.”

“Hello, this is Khushi, Khushi Gupta, daughter of Dr. Sasi…I mean daughter of Sarah Schwab.”

“I know who you are.” Came a heavily accented, yet affectionate voice.


The ride to Berner Oberland was a steamer ride to Interlaken and then a train up into the mountain to Muerren. Every bone in Khushi's body screamed in protest, tired of jetlag and fatigue. But the sight of the snow-capped mountains as she got out of the train simply took her breath away.

“ASR, this is beautiful!” she gasped.

“Not more than you.” He countered to ease the tension that was building up inside her.

The two walked along the small country road, following the directions provided by Martha. As they neared the village, and the house, Khushi’s fear and trepidation only grew.

“That’s the house. “ ASR checked the map and looked up. The house was decorated with festoons and lights that were off at daytime. Voices emanated from the back of the house and ASR decided to check it. He signaled her to stay back as he cleared the area for her. The back of the house had many party tables and chairs. A small gathering of what seemed to be locals was gathered, drinking, cheering and celebrating something.

A portly woman noted the starkly contrasting presence of ASR among the blonde and blue eyed gathering. She smiled welcoming and gestured him to come over. He in turned gestured khushi, who looked ready to flee back to Chicago.

As the two walked into the gathering, the conversations stopped as they noted the new entrants. Martha waddled hurriedly to the couple and without warning pulled Khushi into her embrace.
“Oh, my dear child! Here you are. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to see you. Look at you? You look just like Sarah! Oh my word!” she gushed in a refrain. She shouted out to a guy who seemed to be young enough to be her son.

“Daniel, come and meet cousin, Khuushii” Martha stretched the vowels and stressed the consonants, giving the name a distinct Yiddish bent. The smiling handsome man came over and ASR could not help but notice the similarities of features between the young man and Khushi. Same eyes, same nose, and same strong jaws. Khushi didn’t miss the features either.

“This is Khushi, Sarah’s daughter!”

Daniel leaned and pulled Khushi into a bear hug. She laughed at the sudden outpouring and hugged him back.

“Cousin Khushi! Welcome. When mother told me you’d be here, I was ecstatic. Its my wedding tomorrow. Surely, you and your friend will join.” He continued.
“Sure, she would. There is no question.” Martha went on without batting an eyelid.

ASR wondered how Khushi could be remotely related to such a rotund and puffy looking woman. He didn’t have to wait to find out.

“Well, come in my child, and have some cider. I should tell you though, I am not Sarah’s real sister. I am her cousin from her mother’s side. Sarah’s fathers side is from Wupperal, they migrated here during the war, you know.”
Khushi lost any hope of finding more about Jakub, since Martha was from her maternal grandmother’s side. She was grasping for any bit of information.

Martha pulled them into the house and continued her monologue, “Well, since you made a half a day trip here, you cannot go before the wedding. So, I insist, you stay here and leave day after.”

“But we are not prepared for overnight stay.” Khushi protested.

“Oh, you can have Sarah’s clothes. And he can have Mahinder's clothes. I have them all saved up in the house just like they left them here. And if you promise to stay” Martha labored for breath due to the short exertion,"I will tell you all about your mother and your father. Hunh?" she turned around and stood at the threshold of the door leading into the house.

Martha just sealed the deal for Khushi.


  1. Replies
    1. Oh wow.... i m first in line today....

      Lng awaited update. Lovi g every bit of it.....the alps and breathtaking views of switzerland makes me want to revisit soon.

      Martha quite a lady ..... the accent n khuushii made me laugh.....ur truly a master at details.The warm welcome they both recieved was a delight to read upon. The impe ding weddi g on the other hand makes me very nervous esp when martha offered khushi her parents clothes n bargained info in Exchange for presence.

      I have mu doubts on martha having any infor on the jakubs but really looking fwd to finding out the details of her parents. Hopefully that shall eve. Shed some light on how they died n more.

      Ur story is soooooo captivating SJ, i usually end up reading each chapter twice before i comment n constant keep checking for next update.

      I know ur pressed for time n its really hard to update...but can i plssssss request just a wee bit faster update ..... pretty please with the cherry on the top....:D. Thnq.

      Looking fwd to next update.

      Avni highonshows IF

  2. welcome back dear!!
    off to read the update!! :D

  3. good part. an insight into what is to come next. but the wait was too long

  4. Nice update.....a trip to Zurich in search of secrets.

    Martha saved Sara and mahinders things....that means she know that one day Kushi will come in search of it. Hope she have much more things to reveal.

  5. nice update..... hope khushi gets more info abt her parents..........

  6. hi SJ,

    Beautiful update.......ur beautiful description gives us a pictorial view of the place...

  7. S0 they are 0ff t0...well...all 0ver the w0rld I must say!! This ride is turning 0ut t0 be m0re exciting by the day. And cant believe its just a start! Martha l00ks l0ving. May be n0t ab0ut Jakub but h0pe they may find m0re ab0ut her parents which may in turn lead t0 Jakub. This is getting m0re interesting

  8. Wonderful update, SJ!!!

    So they decided to embark on a Zurich sojourn...I loved the pic...Switzerland is breathtaking and brought back some cherishable memories...hope to revisit, soon..
    Martha's and Daniel's warm welcome was endearing...when you mentioned about those clothes belonging to her parents, I felt uneasy,cannot put my finger on it, though...So,they will be attending the impending wedding...have a feeling a Pandora's box will be opened soon...hope Khushi is strong enough to withstand the avalanche..


  9. Had been waiting since ages for this update. Loved it . I hope Martha is genuine in her love and affection. It will break Khushi if h too is with the others. Very interesting update. Surely Martha will be able to throw light on Sarah and Mahinder.

  10. Hope Martha throws som light on Khushi's parents. This update was light and not as intense as the previous ones. Why do I feel this was the lull before the storm? As always waiting for the next update.

  11. Thanks for the update. Kushi will now get to know about her parents, exciter to read further write soon.

  12. lovd the update....amaxnggg...
    was eagerly waiting 4 thix one...
    lovd the comfort level between ASR n khushi....
    IF smartgirl9009

  13. wow....this was usual this is intriguing...and now they met Martha who has saved Sarahs and Mahinders cloths and is going to tell all about cant wait...loved how Arnav and Khushi are getting comfort from each other..its lovely the way their relationship is evolvig...wiating for the next update...

  14. Finally Khushi gets to meet her mothers side of the family ...
    hope their trip to Zurich is not in vain and they do manage to
    get some information at least ...
    Love the pictures you have put up but miss the piece of music
    that you generally put up in your updates ... :)

  15. excitement and trepidation nicely blended in khushi... love the way the story is progressing: one step forward another step back and we are back to square one... but learning about khushi's parents might give them some clue about the sabres! the image and the realistic description of the German countryside helped me draw a picture in my mind... nice to see the hospitality and love khushi and arnav are met with... martha and daniel seems to be very genuine people

  16. mmh really interesting
    cant wait to find more about the numbers
    and love arhi bond=]

  17. The European trip - will it bring them the answers they are looking for? Can't wait to find out more.

  18. Ohhhh man this is so good. I am hanging on to every word written. I finally caught up...n knew Payal was the mole. Now just waiting to see who the big kahuna pulling the strings is. You are truly gifted in writing this genre. I'm a big fan of Dan Brown, not because he just writes amazing conspiracies and lovable Langdon, but because the conspiracy is plausible. Your story is plausible!!!! You provide the historic background necessary for it to feasible. LOVE IT!!!!!!

  19. SJ!!
    You are back!!
    girl i really understand what it must be like to read all my whining comments of y no updates...
    but i hope u take it in a positive manner... i miss your FF!! :)
    nevertheless i do understand ur stance... and i totally respect ur private life!!

    Thanks for the update darling!!

    Ouhh Swiss!!! brought back so many beautiful memories!! i miss swiss!!
    liked the pace this time in the update... fitted well!!

    waiting for the next!!


  20. Oh, you can have Sarah’s clothes. And he can have Mahinder's clothes. I have them all saved up in the house just like they left them here. And if you promise to stay” Martha labored for breath due to the short exertion,"I will tell you all about your mother and your father. Hunh?" she turned around and stood at the threshold of the door leading into the house."

    And the story escalates. Please, take your time and update. Whatever you have planned for this story, it will be done justly and it should not come at the expense of your personal life :) I and along with other readers will wait for your work :)


  21. wow i still have one more chapter to read.
    What a treat :-)

  22. close to the truth!

  23. Very sweet and totally filmy...loved it....continue soon.....

  24. loved the update.

    she gets to meet her mother side of family and gets to know more about her parents.


  25. I has assumed her aunt was dead as Khushi had never been told about her parents & family as if all of them were dead!

    Looking forward to learning more about her parents & their courtship!

  26. Forgot to say, Switzerland is such a stunning country that romance can't help but blossom, in such beautiful scenery!!!