I looked up, surprised. “You knew them?”
He nodded slowly. “Why are you looking for them?”
“Its nothing.” I didn’t know how much I should tell him. After all, I was pretty sure I didn’t want to know anymore.
“I knew Arjun.” Vishal looked away.
“Do you know where he is now?” I asked, maybe a little too desperately.
He turned to look at me sharply, “This,” he said, referring to my tone, “is not nothing.”
“Okay,” I said, “I admit, its important that I find them.”
“Them?” Vishal questioned.
“Mili or Arjun. Did you know Mili?” I asked eagerly.
“Yes I did.”
“Do you know where she is now?” I held my breath.
“She died Ira.” He said it so softly, that at first I thought I didn’t hear him correctly.
“She died around a year ago.” He said quietly.
A gasp escaped me before I could stop it. My search had come to a grinding stop.
“How did.. ” I hesitated.
“She..” he sighed deeply, “She killed herself.”
My eyes opened wide in shock. “No..”
“Her family was just devastated,” he continued, unaware of my shocked reaction. “It was very sad.”
“Her family, where are they staying?” I asked, thinking quickly.
His eyes narrowed, “Around here somewhere.”
“Will you help me find them?”
“They’ve already been through enough Ira. Don’t put them through this.”
“Through what? I’m just going to offer my condolences.”
“Ira..” He shook his head.
“Why? Why can’t I go see them!”
“Because, you look exactly like her. One look at you, and anyone can make out you’re her daughter.” He had raised his voice a little now, people were staring at us now.
“I think I’m going now.” I turned around and started to walk out when he caught my wrist.
“Ira, please.” He had lowered his voice again. “The family doesn’t need to know that Mili had another daughter. They have just started to adjust to Mili’s death. Please.”
I struggled in his grip for a couple of minutes and then I realized how futile my attempt was. I stood there, silently, my arm limp in his grip.
“you can let go now, I’m not going anywhere.” I managed a half smile. “Thanks” I muttered through misty eyes.
I turned to go back to my room.
“Mili came to see me a couple of days before she..” he hesitated.
I turned around, “Why?”
“She told me she had a daughter, whom she had to abandon,” He started, I cut him short.
“Why’d she come to you?” I asked sharply.
He smiled awkwardly. “Why do you think she came to me?”