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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Chapter 25 - Vaulted Secrets

She stared at the large trunk sitting on the bed. ASR sat next to her. The trunk seemed big enough to hold a body but to Khushi it was a lifetime of memories. 

“Won’t you open it?”

Khushi sat frozen. The upstairs bedroom of Martha’s house was small, with gabled ceiling giving the insides an impossibly angular and claustrophobic structure. ASR had to watch his head as he navigated the room. Khushi simply sat watching the trunk from the time Martha and Daniel had carted it to their room.

“Open it, Khushi. You’ve come this far. Now’s not the time to hold back.”

She stood up wearily and walked to the other bed. She took the keys left on a side table and fumbled with the lock. The contents inside the box looked undisturbed, and untouched by the 28 odd years after its owners had died. She ran her fingers over the soft silk blouse of a woman and a vest that must have belonged to a man. On top of the clothes, a small black diary sat quietly. Khushi picked the book and opened the cover. ASR stood behind her and peeked in.

Diary of Sarah Schwab – Diary 4

Khushi drew her breath in. ASR urged her to sit down before she read further. She began reading the first page. It was part of a 4 part diary series. It wasn’t clear where the first three had disappeared. This one started with the day after Sarah’s twentieth birthday. She was on the heels of a broken heart as she had discovered that her boyfriend was cheating on her. Strangely, the script was in English.

Sarah’s penmanship was impeccable as was expected of people in the eighties. The diary had a few pages dealing with Sarah’s rebound from her broken relationship. Then a few pages later, she talked about meeting a stranger in a coffee shop.

I don’t know why but I feel so attracted to him. He says he is from India and that he is a Prince of a state called Gwalior. I don’t know anything about the country, I will check out some books from the library about India, if they have it.

I want to believe him. He is so....handsome. And when he talks, I feel I can listen to him for hours and forget about the rest of the world. I so wish I could share this with someone. Martha? No! If she tells Aunt and Uncle, they’d skin me alive and stop my allowance. Then I'd have no money to buy coffee and chat with my new friend. No, not Martha. Who else? No one. I have to find a way to meet him without letting anyone know. Yes, that’s it, then.

Khushi pulled her legs up on the bed to sit more comfortably and began reading out the text for ASR. A few pages later, another note caught their attention.

Mahinder. I think I am falling in love with Mahinder. How do I say his name? Ma Hind er? I wish Mamma and Pappa were alive. I wish Sonja was alive. I can’t tell anyone. But I don’t care. I will tell him tomorrow that I love him.

Khushi’s tears were only beginning their journey into the long evening ahead of them. Sarah was an orphan who lived with Martha’s family. No wonder no one had ever tried to find Khushi or reach out to her. Suddenly, she missed Garima and Sasi. They were always kind and loving to her.

I am so happy! I can dance all evening. Mahinder says he loves me. But there is sadness in his eyes. I don’t know why. I will have to find out.

A young Sarah was falling in love and fast. Khushi could only imagine her heady feelings and euphoria of discovering first true love. The innocence in those words left Khushi scared for Sarah. It was irrational, all of twenty and head over heels in love.

Mahinder – an enigma for me. A sweet, tortuous enigma that I am willing to drown myself in. It may be suicidal but if I don’t love him I will die of pain, anyway. Either ways I am dead!

That innocent observation with a smiley graphed in, brought a fresh bout of tears for Khushi. Sarah was speaking metaphorically about losing herself in love, but the words came more than true.

I can hardly believe this. Mahinder is married! Oh dear lord, help me. What have I done? I seduced a married man. Mahinder says he wants to be with me. But I can’t do this to him or his family. Give me strength to do the right thing. Why? Why? Why me again and again, God?

Khushi stopped reading as her eyes clouded. She continued reading despite her urge to stop reading Sarah’s private pain and loneliness.

I fought with him today. Our first fight. He says he wants to leave me money as a safety net. Money? I don’t want money. I just want him but I am willing to give him up too for his family’s sake. No, this is all wrong. He says his grandfather was part of some bizarre Royal Pact with eleven other royal families of the world.

He says they colluded with Nazis to protect their wealth from unknown forces of the war. Nazis - the demonic warlords of the world. Why did they seek the Nazis? Mahinder says royals didn’t want to lose their wealth after the war was over.

They needed protection. For their money? Monarchies that stole from others? They could not count on righteous Allies, so they turned to Nazis, who also had tainted and stolen wealth they needed to hide…money stolen from families like mine. Mahinder says he needs the Royals to agree before he can access the Swiss vaults where they’ve kept the spoils. He wants me to have that money.

I should hate him. I must. For my family, for my ancestors and dead brothers and sisters....but I can't.

Khushi sobbed like a child. So that was the tainted, ugly history of her ancestors. Jakub was rich and persecuted. Maharaja Ratan Singh had blood money on his hands. One side was indirectly responsible for the annihilation of the other. Yet, nature had brought the young ones together and created her, Khushi. Mahinder wanted to do right by Sarah, but he could not access the money, she assumed. If he had accessed the money, Sarah would not have died alone nor Khushi be orphaned and raised by others.

The diary continued as Khushi read it aloud, her voice shaky yet calm.

I could see guilt in his face. He told me that he came to Zurich seeking answers. He tried to find other Jewish families but he could only find me. Are the others dead, wiped out of the face of earth? In a gas chambers or shot point blank? I shiver just thinking about it. I must have positive thoughts.

He wants to do right by me. He wants to return all that wealth to me. But what will I do with it when all I really want is to spend every waking hour with him? He says he came looking for me, for someone who he can help and...rid of his guilt? He said something about finding Sabres from the Royals so he could claim the vault.

But he was afraid. No, he was scared. I think he worries that the royals will retaliate. I don’t know what to do. I wish he had not told me any of this. The secret is a burden on my soul especially now…..that I carry the seed of our love. I can’t tell him that though. Not in this lifetime.

She closed the book unable to read further. Her chest hurt under the weight of the avalanche. She felt sorry for Sarah, who was barely more than a child herself at the time. Twenty years old, pregnant, and a secret so reprehensive, she probably could never share with anyone. The pain of the knowledge that Mahinder’s family was responsible for Sarah's family’s fate must have devastated her. Yet her love for him was untainted, unyielding and strong.

How did Sarah deal with the gore at such a tender age? She was pregnant, and more than likely abandoned by Mahinder as he most certainly had returned to India. He probably never knew about Sarah’s pregnancy until it was too late to return to her.

Something had happened that had scared Mahinder. She remembered Sasi telling her about how he had instructed Sasi to take the box with saber tooth sculpture and flee from India. Someone killed him and his family, Khushi was sure of that. Who and why? Perhaps, the other royals who were afraid that he would let the cat out of the bag or was it the Jewish mafia, which was responsible for her own ghastly recent experiences. They had to know about the vaults because every royal that ever had a sabre was dead...except her. Her head spin at all the possibilities and questions.

This was bigger and more macabre than Khushi could ever imagine.

ASR was piecing the puzzle just as fast as Khushi was. He knew he had to find where the vault was and he knew the poem of the Sabres led to the painting by Jakub, which meant only one thing. The painting hid the clue to the account number, name and location of the Swiss bank that housed the tainted vault.

Then fear struck him hard. The mafia does not give up so easily. There was greed and revenge in their motives. If they had followed the two to Zurich, he had very little time.


  1. OMG! how is it possible I missed ur updates..
    I was everyday refreshing ur blog but somehow I missed it.
    Anyway, finally caught up the two chapters. So, they went to find the answers.
    I felt so sad like khushi while she is reading her mother diary..
    They are now so close but im scaring what is waiting for the next?

  2. my head is spinning..... read it twice

    Neag (india-forums)

  3. Sad sad sad truth, its n0 st0ry t0 Khushi. The tr0uble that Sarah lived thr0ugh, the pain, surely must be unbearable. At least it lead t0 s0me hint ab0ut the Sabres.

  4. Read 24 & 25 together.

    The meeting between K and M was really tocuhing. How apprehensive she was but still knew she had to do it. Poor K :(

    And the diary entries - GOD! Heartbreaking! To be unlucky in love twice is too much :( But from how the story unfolds, I can see that Sara was a brave soul and I feel proud of her :)

    Arnav the Rock ROCKS !!! :)

  5. Wow ! Superb ! What a chapter I'm completly shocked stumped feel so sorry for Kushi, can't wait to read further.
    Thanks so so so much for this fantastic update
    Kavita 1970

  6. oh poor Sarah..... i am glad Khusi got to read the dairy!! The diary entries were heartbreaking!! feel bad for Khusi.... her life has taken a full 360 turn in matter of few days only!! too much of secrets and suspense..... I hope mafia didnt follow them to Zurich... just hope!!
    great update SJ!!
    cant wait for next chapter.... :D

  7. glad to see you on the up and up. two great updates!


  8. Wow, just wow.. laid hands on this story today and read it in one go twice already:-)

    love in times of test seems to be your underlying theme mostly....

    You are too gifted to be true........ How do you do it?
    Aapke charan kahan hain Madam

  9. Oh god the diary entries were heartbreaking, cannot imagine how Khushi must feel going through them

    The mystery deepens here, and I am glad ASR and Khushi have each other.

    Awaiting the next update :)

    IF - vgedin

  10. Its heart breaking to hear about Sarah.....hope ASR helps Kushi....

  11. love how you slowly bring the mystery outt
    amazing story
    and poor sarah,=/

  12. This is going greeeeeeeat! !!
    ok first of all I caught up with your updates today and I'm really sorry to hear about your mother in law. But it is said that good people depart early from the world....
    well sj keep up the great work. Missed this thrill for a while, but good to have you back :)
    IF - sally2651

  13. Ohh My!! that was quite a quick one!!
    never expected it this early .. but certainly happy ...

    Sarah! gawd it was sucha heart wrenching update!!

    but i really really wonder.. why is it that these 2 think they will fight out the jewish mafia all alone? i mean is it even possible? i shudder to imagine the consequences...

    i am very sure they are followed... and why not!?
    lets see whats in store next...

    Thanks SJ


  14. Khushi reading the diary contents of her late mother was so heart wrenching....I felt for the naive and desolate must have been so daunting for her to keep the secret close to her heart as well as nurture that little life growing in her womb.. one side of her family was responsible for the destruction of the other side of the must be so devastating to learn about this bitter truth, for Khushi...
    Jakub's painting holds the key...and it is a race against time for ASR & Khushi...cannot wait to read the next..


  15. oh wow...poor poor sarah....she had to face everything when she was really young and its so heartbreaking...i feel sorry for mahinder too...he tried to do good and those people didnt let hm...thats really sad...but im happy cos khushis got ASR with the plot thickens and these people are on a verge of update soon...

  16. Two back to back updates - super-awesome-sauce and thus the mystery begin to unravel.
    So well written , almost like it's real.

    Probably that's SJ's magic. Fiction to reality all so tragic. *Rap innuendo*

  17. Then fear struck him hard. The mafia does not give up so easily. There was greed and revenge in their motives. If they had followed the two to Zurich, he had very little time.

    Okay, my head is spinning from reading that diary! So the young and beautiful Sarah had to face such macabre during some grotesque times in the history of the world and she did it with such resilience. I wonder if the other members of her family got hold of the other diaries. Or, if there are more diaries after 4.

  18. We discuss everything about TSC just this evening and you didn't even tell me that you had updated. K isnt happy.

    will update my comment tomorrow, pucca.


  19. Jakub's painting has the key to the vault. (You wont believe it i was seeing the movie National Treasure for the nth time yesterday)

    Khushi is feeling the trauma while reading her mother's diary.
    To her it would be like reading a story whose end is already known :-(

    and the run begins again.....

  20. God the story is building beautifully!
    My heart aches for sarah......wat an innocent love!
    Great updates!! Loved them!:D

  21. Just caught up with two updates and I have only one word to say, terrific simply mind blowing! The mystery is unfolding, bring it on!!

  22. Just caught up with two updates and I have one word, terrific! Simply mind blowing! The mystery is unfolding, bring it on!!

  23. Hi SJ,
    New Reader here ,,It took me 2 days to finish reading all the 25 chapters , what to do each update was getting more and more intriguing and i had no heart to stop unless wifely and motherly duties were calling "buahaaha" !
    I came across this ff quite late but in retrospective its good since i did not have to wait with anticipation for the updates , but that thrill is over and here i am waiting patiently "Not" for the next update.
    Even if i sit with a dictionary i cannot express my self about your story and writing style!!
    Agent Raizada tho mujhe maar kar hi dum lega !!!! LOL
    Khushi , is like the cursed princess !!!
    Good payal was dealt with... Gitu and NK make a charming couple ready to claw each other at any given moment !!
    Great work !!! BAS

  24. Did i tell you, I absolutely loved that music piece!! great choice dear.... :)
    Update soon!!

  25. Khushi reading her mothers Diary was so so emotional ...
    Poor Sarah ... must have gone through plain torture ...
    The only consolation is that at least Khushi has Arnav support ...
    Thanks SJ ... beautiful chapter ...

  26. The diary reading was very emotional and beautiful...loved it...atleast kushi got to knw a little about her mother...continue soon



  27. The mystery is unfolding.

    The dairy entry was very emotional, poor Sarah..I feel so bad for her...I could imagine her pain and Khushi's pain while reading it.


  28. Wow slowly we are learning more but as I was reading this update something kept preying on my mind & I'm a wee bit confused (believe me it leant take much!)!

    I think the ancient sabre link is with Khushi's paternal family, however the painting & the sabre tooth tiger is linked to her maternal family, I don't know of I missed something about how the two other than Khushi come together as I thought everything sabre linked pre-dates her parents but somehow both still are linked to the one sabre tiger???

    Not sure if I made clear what my doubts or confusion is about, or if I am just confusing myself & you even further :(( !!!