Sunday, November 2

The October That Was !



Months fly by in a jiffy. Harking back, they seem to dissociate into powdery thin bits of the past, those moments that arrived into your life with magnanimous gestures. Few of them manage to remain equally important several days from the happening, but few others fail irrevocably. Maybe it's an idea worth upholding to jot down nitbits from the past,however trivial they may seem in the big picture, so that several years down the lane you would find yourself sweeping away the dust from the attic only to confront the long forgotten gems of your life, the things that made you who you are. 

October was thrilling. It offered joy so did it dampen the good spirits with a few heart aches. Isnt it necessary that one keeps miseries close to ones heart just like the goodnesses that life offers, you may ask. Life builds itself up from the pitfalls, I say. Let us consider a situation. I get scolded for a shortcoming of mine which cost someone else pain and subsequently I get punished for the same . I scream at the cruelty of fate, how it focusses on busting me rather than uplifting my days every time. I ponder over the event a day later once the bitten mind of mine has pacified and I see things in a different perspective. Was fate wrong ? Or was my judgement ? I take care never to repeat the mistake, never to let my deeds punish me a second time, pushing me over the abyss. Life is such. You learn to be right once a mishap beholds you. You learn to keep growing once success garnishes you.

October has seen it all. My smile, my tears, my surprise and my dejections. So a thought raved inside my mind as to whether I should be jotting down the same so that I would give life to my past a second time. And here I am with my memoir of the beauty this October was.

Happiness :-

Deciphering the nugget that remains encoded in the proverb - ' Practice makes perfect'. I had dedicated an entire post for the revelation, that hit me one day over a cup of tea. I find it odd chipping in excerpts from my writings, but then this post would remain incomplete if i didn't do so. From my post 'Of Rain And Life' :- 

Every theatre day felt like a distressing event to me in the beginning . And before long, my decision to take up a surgical field had started morphing into an irrevocable mistake to me, bogging me down. Though I could conjure up the courage to perform the surgeries in the same way as my teachers taught me, the thought of standing beside the surgery table waiting to paint and drape the patient as the anesthesiologist skillfully induced the patient, pricked my conscious being like nothing else.

But then, things changed. One surgery down. Two surgeries down. Ten surgeries down. The fears surprisingly got dampened in the strength offered by the many days of practice. And one fine day, while glowing in the joy of having had a fruitful day in hospital, an age old nugget dawned on me, making me glow brighter. ‘Practice makes perfect’.Quite truly so. A revelation hit me with an unprecedented rush then that with each attempt of a seemingly difficult duty, be it a surgery or anything else that we encounter in daily life, eventually the same poses threats of lighter intensity than it had in the start. You just need to be brave enough to believe this fact so that you would actually go out there and try without shunning the cues. And moreover, have faith in yourself. 

Nonetheless, the fears continue to chase me. But I feel their presence a little less these days. Or better yet, I now feel confident enough to tackle those fears single handed, armed with the weapon that is self confidence.’

SORROW :-

Few things are better left shrouded forever. Especially if those hurt you every time they are unveiled, intentionally or not, inside you. But then there are people who find solace in pouring their heart out to their friends. I belong to the first half – who keep sorrows tucked away hidden in the deepest corners of my mind so that not a second person finds his or her way to it to poke me a second time with its pointed head. The whole point in writing this post seems dubious at this juncture, i know. So let me, in a few words, put it this way :-

‘ Life is not a bed of roses. There are times when you are thrashed to the shore by reality while you were engulfed in the peacefulness of sailing the sea. I have a word or two for myself for those times, words that were passed down over generations in view of the priceless truth that they carried – ‘ This too shall pass’.

New Possessions :-
A brand new Lenovo Yoga 2 Tablet! When a friend first suggested it to me i was apprehensive for i have had my share of dejections when my heart went out for products that were less in demand. But two weeks from procuring this one, i must say i haven’t experienced anything like this in my whole life when it came to the technology front.

Surprises :-

A silver ring with an emerald stone at the centre – a gift from a senior who left for her native place after her post graduation.

Most memorable day :-

The dept of ENT at my college decided to go on a one day trip to a resort last month. I would say that it was a once in a lifetime experience what with my professors dancing their heart out rapaciously to Bollywood and A.R.Rahman music! I wouldn’t lie, but i had my share of the bliss of a hammock for the first time ever in my life. We had such amazing time in the pool and then at the beach that the decision is on for another trip of the like in three months time! 

Books that i read :-

Serious men by Manu Joseph and A bad character by Deepti Kapoor. Owing to busy schedules i had started selecting books to read based on their reviews and thankfully i didnt go wrong in my decision for those two books were stupendous works of fiction!

Favourite movie experience of the month :-

The Ring. Having watched it for the umpteenth time, relaxed and slumped down on my couch, i felt satiated, which rarely happened these days while rushing through carelessly selected movies in between hectic duties.

So i suppose i could go on and on inspecting minute details of my past leaving it bare here effortlessly. I am winding this account up lest i would start reeling myself over the top, lulling you with details about anything that caught my attention the past one month. Let me save those for another post. So, how was your October ? :)


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Saturday, October 18

Of Rain And Life



“I hate rain!”. I stated quite blatantly as the steady downpour dampened my voice. The person on the other end of the phone exclaimed in disbelief. Quite obviously so. For I myself is yet to see atleast one person in a group of five who doesn’t hold the mystifying physiology of earth, that is rain, close to his or her heart. He went onto dissect in fervor the many pros of rain and how it pacified him, refreshing his body and soul, while i blabbered on the many cons like how a rainy day created a havoc in my life, especially when it announced its entry early in the mornings while i am all dressed up neatly for a fresh beginning. 

Settling down after the call with a hot mug of tea, the aroma of which insinuated deep reviving my senses , I let my thoughts munch softly on the many vagaries that lurked in and out of my life. There has been a perplexing aura harrowing my mind for the past one year. The kind of disturbing feeling that one gets before embarking on something productive yet risky. The thought of doing the same seems enthralling yet instills fear at the same time. Ever felt that way? I am quite sure everybody has at some point or the other in their lives.

But having to experience the same on every other day would be not so much of a cake walk, would it? Being someone sailing towards the goal of being a surgeon, I have been having an experience of such sort to uphold for the past one year. Or atleast for a few months at the start of my postgraduate journey.

Deftly handling a person lying infront of you on the surgery table the right way isn’t easy. Infact it would be the scariest thing anyone could confront. In the focused race to grab a precious P.G seat and to satiate my hunger to delve deeper into any one of the stupendous surgical fields of medicine, less did I anticipate the many hurdles I need to jump past in the seemingly glorious journey that welcomed me.

Every theatre day felt like a distressing event to me in the beginning . And before long, my decision to take up a surgical field had started morphing into an irrevocable mistake to me, bogging me down. Though I could conjure up the courage to perform the surgeries in the same way as my teachers taught me, the thought of standing beside the surgery table waiting to paint and drape the patient as the anesthesiologist skillfully induced the patient, pricked my conscious being like nothing else.

But then, things changed. One surgery down. Two surgeries down. Ten surgeries down. The fears surprisingly got dampened in the strength offered by the many days of practice. And one fine day, while glowing in the joy of having had a fruitful day in hospital, an age old nugget dawned on me, making me glow brighter. ‘Practice makes perfect’.Quite truly so. A revelation hit me with an unprecedented rush then that with each attempt of a seemingly difficult duty, be it a surgery or anything else that we encounter in daily life, eventually the same poses threats of lighter intensity than it had in the start. You just need to be brave enough to believe this fact so that you would actually go out there and try without shunning the cues. And moreover, have faith in yourself. 

Nonetheless, the fears continue to chase me. But I feel their presence a little less these days. Or better yet, I now feel confident enough to tackle those fears single handed, armed with the weapon that is self confidence.

The heavy downpour has mellowed down to a steady drizzle now. The green leaves outside my window seem playing around with the refreshing beads of rain before letting them down to sink deep into the mud. The air is pregnant with the rejuvenating and nascent smell that emanated from the earth,parched for long in the hot sultry days that went by.  

Having finished my tea, I plunge onto the sofa with a favourite book in hand to devour the same next. A thought crosses my mind as to what made me reminisce about my life all of a sudden. Maybe rain did the trick.So is rain all that bad as I had supposed it to be? Second thoughts quickly give way to an answer in negative and i smile effortlessly at the same.Mentally making a note to shout out the change of mind to the person with whom i had that enlightening conversation, i shift my focus onto the book which showers a scent second best to none. 

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Monday, October 6

Altruism



                    Ten years back, on this auspicious date, she got married to Borah. The wedding had been stupendous. Dressed up in her mother’s jewellery, she looked every bit a princess.  The love socked jets  thrown to her through Borah’s gaze  pierced all the way through her blossomed body to the very core – her fluttering heart, only to enthral him with the sight of a bright red hue that spread on her cheeks. His eyes, the colour of jet black kohl, caressed her intentionally and she saw herself cocooning into a shy petite mould inside them. That night, they made love on a floral mattress, the mesmerising odour of fresh flowers insinuating deep into her senses, reviving them.

                 Sita sat huddled in their kitchen, serving him his favourite dish, as the beautiful events of her past flashed across her mind. A hesitant smile dangled at the corners of her quivering lips as she snuggled closer onto her most precious asset, a saffron saree gifted by him in the nascent stage of their marital journey.

 " The food is bland " 

                Borah remarked unabashedly. Resentful and hurt, an excruciating pain swept through her as those words jostled her back to the present.

               Her mother’s dying words came rushing to her heart the very next moment, like it did in every other time of adversity. Love wins all battles.  She just had to keep loving him ignoring all odds, subservient and altruistic, she knew.

"I need to be more careful tomorrow". Sita told herself




Saturday, October 4

Chapter 24 - The Past Revealed





 Read the previous chapter : The Games They Played


               The formidable building that lay sprawled infront of him, with inexplicable and hideous facts tucked away safely into each crevice, brought jitters to Aryan’s already muddled thought flux.

 ‘ Paresh was indeed one of those shrewd kinds, the likes of which most often escaped the porous clutches of judiciary with their mean crooked ways. Who couldn’t say that. Look at his house!’. Aryan wondered while he alighted the array of steps garnished with red carpet which led to the porch.

His juniors, all of them serene faced and surprisingly young for the post, greeted him at the entrance, brimming with ardour and enthusiasm.

‘Goodevening . So what do we have here?’

The next half and hour ticked away in a jiffy with Aryan being briefed about a couple of vital clues his juniors had amassed from the surroundings. He couldn’t help but feel a heaviness unfolding inside of him while he jotted down the clues onto a note pad, something which he carried around with him at any time owing to habit.

-          His juniors had stumbled upon a pattern on the sand path that led to Paresh’s garage,which, in all probability resembled a tyre pattern – of that of a car well embedded in mud. This fresh piece of nugget was worth saving as there was torrential rain the day Paresh was killed, which brought them to the next clue – The autopsy report.

-         The autopsy was finished by afternoon and the imminent points of the same could be briefed as :-

              1. Paresh’s death happened on Thursday, the previous day sometime between 11-11.30p.m.                          
           
              2. And the gore that were the injuries on his body were actually incised wounds – Something which could be produced by an object with sharp edge. ‘Something like a razor?”!

 Aryan sat down on the couch mulling over this information, racking his brain to its extreme. If Paresh had come to his house in his car,reaching his house after the rain dried up, which seems the most obvious thing to be concerning his work schedules, what must have happened to his car? Where did it vanish? Or was Paresh home during the time of the attack ? That would mean the car coud be that of the murderer’s.

Aryan scanned the points he had scribbled down on his notepad. ‘Sharp incised wounds’. Could that for definite be by a razor? And if so, what does that indicate? The one who assaulted 8 human beings two years ago is on a deadly prowl once again?! What for? – The reason of which Aryan couldn’t conjure at that moment for his head was splitting up with an attack of vertiginous migraine.  Or better yet, was the attack being mimicked? So that the real killer could slip away unidentified amidst the hullaballo this murder will bring about so like the hype the past 8 murders showered the country in a matter of weeks.  

Aryan gulped down a crocin tablet with a glass of water that his associate had handed him before tucking away his notepad into his pocket.

Before leaving the place, he remembered to instruct his juniors to have a background check on Paresh’s assets, especially regarding the cars he owned. He wanted to know whether Paresh owned an SUV –an SUV with Kerala registration.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Back in God’s Own Country, the setting sun was spraying vibrant hues on Jenny’s petite body. The smouldering hot ball that the sun was, was rolling down into the pool of water after the longest day it had withstood in a long time. The row boats sailing on the sea presented a scenic beauty to the panorama. A warm breeze brushed past Cyrus and Jenny and Cyrus watched intently as Jenny swept back flocks of hair from her flushed face. The setting sun granted a final ray which illuminated the drop of wetness that had collected on the corners of Jenny’s eyes.

 "How are you feeling now, Jenny? Cyrus enquired, an air of concern dancing in his words.

‘ I feel awful, Cyrus’ Jenny touched her eyes, fearing the dampness would give way to a torrent of tears.  

‘Dont be Jenny. It is only human to err and everyone deserves a second chance, don’t they?’

‘But do i deserve one, Cyrus? After all that happened over the past two years, I feel disgusted to say the least. ‘

‘ Relax Jenny. Let us sort this out later. Maybe after reaching Chuna Mundi. But remember one thing – I will always be there for you, no matter what’

Jenny rested her head on Cyrus’s strong broad shoulders as Cyrus softly caressed the butterfly on Jenny’s arm.  The soft lull of the sea was the sole sound that could be heard lending life to the moment that transpired between them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

‘The only person who had a connection with Kerala that Tara knew of was Jenny. But that didn’t make sense!  Or did it?’ Tara thought in between stroking her husband’s hair who lay sleeping dejected and confused after all the weird happenings of the day.

"Yes, Mr. Literary Adept
The ground beneath your feet has been swept
Sure you'll be the ninth one this Monday
But, why not, while the Sun shines, make hay?
Your Daughter, for one...
Your wife comes next...
And, that irritant Cop!
Will their attacks, he prevent?"

The final note sent shivers down Tara’s spine. Harking back, hasn’t the whole drama  started with just a Cyrus and herself? Eventually Shekhar was dragged into the plot and now he is being targeted as the final victim of a murderous rage! And to think that even little Roohi isn’t spared – Moron!

Whoever is it that finds immense pleasure in toying with her family isn’t going to live a peaceful life – Tara made up her mind. She is going to protect her family, come hell come high water! The hideous past of her husband isn’t going to be an excuse for letting the murderer go on with his or her plan! She was strong, Tara knew. Maybe stronger than her husband when it came to matters regarding judiciary and the police. The many years of media experience had turned her skin thick and unyielding. If she cannot fight it, nobody can!

The thunderous roll of Aryan’s bullet revived her back to her senses.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Having had their dinner, Cyrus wished Jenny goodnight and retreated back to his room. Opening his laptop he clicked on his blog link which was bookmarked and started reading his previous posts one after the other, especially the ones which had Jenny as his muse.

A hurried knock on the door startled him and he jumped up from his bed fearing danger at this odd hour. Jenny stood at the door, her eyes drooping down, staring at her feet as she hugged a diary close to her heaving chest.

‘Dont judge me Cyrus’ saying those words Jenny handed the diary over to Cyrus and slowly retraced her steps back to her room.

An unprecedented rush made Cyrus swoon , but quickly retrieving his balance Cyrus huddled on his bed to devour Jenny’s diary.

What lay scribbled in blue and black before him in the crumbled pages of Jenny’s diary was her life. Cyrus drafted a summary from the various scattered pages of Jenny's diary and sketched an outline of Jenny's life in his head :-


Jenny’s father was  a naval officer with a high rank serving at the Delhi naval base. During the initial days of her schooling, Jenny’s family stayed at the navy headquarters as her school was in the naval premises. Having had a thorough knowledge about the premises she used to go around cycling through the wide well tended to roads inside with her friends and sometimes alone. During one such much looked forward to tours alone she was left aghast by the ghastly sight of a couple of her father’s friends threatening a lady inside a thatched hut, the one built as kind of a picnic spot for the officers and their family. The lady had her body wrapped in a ragged cotton saree and she had a weary face worn down with the scorching heat of the day. With her accent Jenny could make out that that the lady belonged to the poor fishing community. Her father’s friends were warning the lady regarding something which Jenny couldn’t make out completely from the distance she was standing. To her dismay one of her father’s friends dragged the lady onto him the very next moment and shook her wildly such that his point was made clearer. The lady left the place weeping , drops of tears wiped away with the ragged edges of her saree.

The scared little Jenny tried her best to avoid the place where she had witnessed the miserable incidence from then on. Nonetheless she was once again dragged into the scene a few years later after she graduated from her college. 

One night after dinner Jenny overheard her father discussing a matter with her mother regarding the unruly behaviour of few of his friends to the women of the nearby fishing community. With the immense power that came with their position they could easily take advantage of the poor fishermen, bedding their wifes sans word of mouth regarding the incidents.

A recent visit to the nearby fishing area proved her  fears right. The fisherwomen lived in a world cloaked with the blanket of fear – fear that they would be called upon any time of the day to the nearby thatched houses for playing their part in satisfying the officers. The pained wails of the women stung deep into her heart and she decided for once and for all that she wouldn’t let this carry on forever. With the best of her ability she tried hinting the officer’s wives about the misdeeds of their husbands but her words reached dead ears. Moreover they even harassed her saying they would move to court if she came up with further news that would taint their families. Jenny was deeply ashamed by the attitude of the wives that she decided to seek alternate ways to bring an end to the nefarious routine. Moreover she feared that  a couple of those officers even had an eye on her sister everytime they came across her.

And that was how Lallan courted her and started using her as his alibi. Without Lallan knowing, she mastered his weaknesses and about his well networked connections and strengths. Masquerading as Don J, she bullied Lallan and brought him to threaten the wives of the officers. But sadly it was all or none for psychotic Lallan – Either he seeked extreme measures or he never bothered at all. Jenny found things slipping from her hands once she informed Lallan about her plans regarding the wives of the 9 officers who were unlawful. Neither Jenny nor any other force could chain Lallan or pull him back to his normal senses. He was already on a murderous rage, a rage which would be satiated with blood and flesh alone . And thus ensued the series of Delhi murders which spanned over two months shaking the country. With Samantha’s and Paresh’s help Lallan erased all the vital clues without disclosing that he was the murderer and Don J, supposedly the killer on a spree with her unique gadget - a razor, and with a unique tagline - ' My Paintbrush Is A Razor!' remained a mystery to all.

Cyrus took a deep breath and stared ahead into the darkness of the night.


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Read the next chapter here : Sojourn for tracing past

Me and my Team are participating in "Game Of Blogs" at Blogadda.com.
#CelebrateBlogging with us.


Monday, September 22

Blood Is Red, So Is A Blush


Team Name :  Maximus Dramaticus

‘Life is a rollercoaster ride’. Wasn’t that the phrase people utter eloquently to define life in the most pragmatic of ways! Paresh recalled as he sat manoeuvring the steering wheel of his Porsche, staring deep  into the gloominess, cloaked in black, that lay seamlessly ahead. Getting a bail was the easiest thing a person of his stature could do! Did they miss that! 

Life was indeed a roller coaster ride for Paresh. It had been so since twenty years back when he led an utterly unpredictable life with his age old debilitated parents who toiled their days in the scorching sun in all desperation to make two ends meet. Having cleared his high school with quite a good percentage, though by devouring bits and pieces of information from the tattered books his friends had lent him , he had looked upon himself as an intelligent boy for his age and descendant. But wasn’t life cruel to him?! - For burying his parents in the deadliest pit of fate and for strangulating him in its nefarious clutches at the most crucial of times.

Joining law school a couple of years later with the money he had amassed through the many stinking deals, he knew that he had made the wisest decision – a sturdy anchor for his well sculptured future plans.

Few minutes later, sensing his arrival the automated gates slid slowly apart to let him into his compound. The enormous building, another fruit of his crooked mysterious deeds, appeared eerie shrouded by the blanket that was night.

The shiny, well pecked name board fixed onto the ivory white porch wall smiled proudly at him.

‘Prof. Paresh Borah’

A delirious smile broke out at the corners of his mouth as he read his name out aloud with utmost delight.

The vigorous flap of a night bird was what prompted him to jerk back the very next moment!

 He cringed his eyes in an effort to see through the darkness, the long palm trees lining his garden aisle morphing into lean scary shadows before him.

‘Mr.Paresh’

A familiar voice echoed his name out from somewhere, the direction of which seemed almost untraceable for his confused mind now almost clogged with terror. Paresh stood froze from head to toe at the sound of the intruder, a muffled cry escaping his lips in fear of his own safety. But the very next moment, he knew his life was not something he could carry locked forever, not atleast when caught unarmed and unaware. 

The night bird shrieked in its highest pitch muffling the many groans that followed as if to play partner in crime to the strange intruder. As fresh red drops of blood trickled down from the battered wounds on Paresh’s body, which lay crumpled on the ice cold floor, the intruder heaved a sigh of relief for having brought down one of the strongest preys any hunter would encounter in a lifetime.

                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cyrus checked his watch while flipping past the case file he had conjured himself up with all the precious evidences he had collected. It was half past eleven.

‘Why was Jenny not answering his call? Was she tired of all the miserable happenings unwinding around them? In a way, aren’t i the one responsible for dragging her into all these?’.He thought resentfully, gloom shadowing starkly on his eyes now weighed down with sleep.

He tore apart a piece of paper from his file and started scribbling few things on it hurriedly :

   1.   Who took Jenny away?
   2.   Why was Tara called up to Jenny’s hide out? How did Tara know Samantha Naik?
   3.  What did they talk which prompted Tara to drag police into the scene and to go public with the smugglers?
   4. The forensic report – Tell Tara about it the first thing tomorrow.
   5.  Is Shekhar hiding something?

 Remembering the many phone calls that had come specifically for Shekhar, Cyrus highlighted the last query with his flashy fluorescent pen. Nuggets of mysteries lay strewn randomly which needed to be held together in a string if he should win the case, Cyrus knew. The fact that his partners too had started adding smoky fumes into the already foggy days was bogging Cyrus down.

‘Where is Jenny?’ Cyrus dialled her number a third time in anticipation that she would answer his call.

                                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wide eyed, Jenny fixed her stare on her laptop screen which was adorned with one of the most favourite of her childhood snaps. The title of the blogpost written in a sky blue shade read –

AYear To wait

‘Dreary and parched the last day passed ,
I carry with me your memories locked.
But still, why do i smile to a blossoming thought ?
Like the angels  let me in their  secret plot
The strength shot back much fierce and strong ,
Yes , i should wait for you, if or not i am wrong .’

 Intrigued, Jenny started reading Cyrus’s blogposts one after the other in chronological order. Scrolling through his archives she stumbled upon quite many posts which made the Piscean in her curious . She clicked on the titles one after the other rapaciously, a warm pink hue spreading on her cheeks.

She could feel the thumping of her heart which was beating asynchronously as she skipped past the routine posts, a newly found ardour firing her spirit like never before.

She noticed a drop in the number of posts since the Mysterious Monday incidents ensued, with the last post featuring yet another of her pretty childhood snaps accompanied by a verse –

‘The sublime you captivate me
  In your smile blooms my loveliest verse ~ 
  My muse forever you remain’

The soft hum of her cell phone started beating in the background as if to lend beauty to the moment.

‘Cyrus again’, Jenny thought, a twinkle playing in her eyes.

Pondering over whether or not to answer his call, Jenny tapped at her table, the cool breeze gushing into the room bringing with it emotions and dilemmas, most of them unprecedented ones and the others equally mysterious.

The harrowing events of the past week flashed across her mind, stinging her deep. Being a captive in the scariest dungeon was never part of her plan while rushing to Delhi to help Cyrus out, nor was being part of one of the most controversial cases of the year! 

She had almost reached for her phone to call back Cyrus, all the while scrolling down blog post after blog post in a fervour to decipher Cyrus deeper, when a familiar face shot across in one of the posts.

Taking a closer look at the photograph Jenny cried out amused - 

‘ Wow! Now that is a surprise. What are you doing here, Aryan?!’

                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read the next part of the story here

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

                                     

Sunday, September 14

The Warning


                       Team Name :  Maximus Dramaticus


Read the third part of the story The Enigmatic Exploration before proceeding please


                                                       ~~~~~~~
         
                              Meanwhile, the days were rolling slowly in yet another part of the country. Shekhar sat stooped forward in his study drenched in the caressing gaze of the setting sun.  The mellifluous twitter of the birds outside had transformed unfailingly to a hullaballoo at the mere cue of the changing shade, from a vibrant golden to a subtle grey. The playful chatter of Roohi hung loudly in the otherwise silent house so much so that it had almost become an imminent ingredient of any day
.
He sat staring at the blank screen infront of him, the silver rays emanating from the laptop screen dancing gleefully inside his eyes. Being a freelancer wasn’t easy. It had its perks- like his hands brimmed with one of the most precious assets in any writer’s life – time. But lately, the burden of inactivity had started to take a toll on him, he knew. Bouncing from one project to another, he was earning quite a decent sum every month, but then there always existed a tempting tug at the back of his heart to come up with a stupendous first novel, one that would take the literary world, or rather the commercial league of the same by storm.

‘ Papa, come play with me !’

Roohi’s enigmatic voice pulled Shekhar back from his reverie. He waved at her hopping outside, her pigtails jerking vigorously in the pale evening light.

 ‘ Don't go far, Baby’ He called out to her through the window smiling, wondering whether or not to hover over to her for another game of hide and seek.

Tara – Where was she! One whole monotonous day had passed since she called him up to discuss about the whirlpool Cyrus had dragged her into.  ‘I’ll be back soon’ – Her words echoed through him as a slow pang of pain slithered through his heart, urging him to reach for his phone in a jiffy. Being a journalist, Tara used to leave in search of scoops at the most unlikeliest of the moments. Yet, Shekhar felt an inexplicable uneasiness this time around, the reason of which he couldn't fathom. 

Just that very moment, Shekhar’s phone breathed his favourite  song signalling a call, the timing of which startled him given the torrent of dark images that hammered their way through his head since the day he knew Tara was out in a sinister world.

‘ Mr. Shekhar?’

‘Yes. Who is this?'

' I am Paresh - Cyrus's professor'

' Oh. what is it professor?'

‘I had been to cyrus's place a couple of times and came to know that he is staying at your house in Chuna Mandi now. You two are really good friends isn't ?

Shekhar nodded in reply bringing voice to his gesture with a soft grunt of approval. 

'And that is exactly why I called you now. Have you talked to Cyrus lately?’ Shekhar couldn’t help but notice the shade of apprehension that lingered in his words, quite unlike something he would expect from a person of Paresh’s stature.

‘Yes, I talked to him just yesterday. What is the matter, Professor?’ Shekhar lied in an impulse, not knowing why the words slipped through his lips hurriedly.

‘Nothing serious, Shekhar. Its  just that Cyrus has been missing a lot of classes lately. Being a law student out on an assignment this is not something odd, but what bothers me most is the air of tension and apprehension shadowing his movements and words since around a month and half back'

Shekhar breathed heavily through the speaker, his heart beats thudding so loudly that he feared those would be audible enough to be transmitted all the way to Delhi.

‘ Having gulped down book after book, facts after facts over the past few months, it would doubtlessly be a different endeavour altogether to be out on the front cracking a case for real, i know. I have seen students falter too many a time. But then, it should be part of the growing process right, a crucial part in his metamorphosis’

‘ Sir, could you be a bit more specific here. Is Cyrus out on an assignment? What assignment? I am sure he hasn’t mentioned anything of that sort to me’

‘Oh, I am very sorry, Shekhar. I deduced you to have known that Cyrus and one other student of his group are on a practical assignment right now, strictly speaking for the past three months. I had warned them sternly to work undercover, not to expose themselves or to attract too much attention considering the graveness of the case. I hope Cyrus sticks to my words for it is definitely a dangerous world out there. And that is precisely why i called you up, to talk to him to pacify his self to go slow and never to be over enthusiastic which a fresher like Cyrus tends to be given the authority and the privilege that comes with being granted the first case . Also like never before the academy has now come up with a new scheme which Cyrus knows well enough-  Brownie points based on their performance for the scholarship which they are offered for their internship abroad at the end of the last semester. Quite a temptation to work all the more, isn’t it?‘

Shekhar mumbled in reply, ‘And what case is he working on now, may i know professor, if that is something which can be disclosed’

‘It is a wrapped up case. Something which happened two years back. The vital clues got erased away one fine day forcing the judiciary to discard the case sans verdict. It was a murder case and it was no secret how the mafia dons showered their usual nastiness to cover up the proceedings of the case. ‘

The  soft rumble of the ceiling fan was all that could be heard in the overstretched silence that followed. Having promised Professor Paresh on having a sensible conversation with Cyrus, Shekhar hung up the phone.

‘See this papa!’ Roohi’s  enthusiastic voice was what brought Shekhar to his cheerful self once again.

‘What is it , baby. What do you have here? Is that a puppy that you are holding? Eh, it is a big brown dog or what. From where did you get it Roohi?’ Shekhar’s voice deepened which erased the smile that had dangled on Roohi’s lips.


 The golden tinge of the accessory that was clinging onto the toy's neck from a dainty chain brought a fresh tinge of pink to his cheeks - A razor! 


‘ One uncle left this at our gate while you were talking on phone’ Roohi looked down at her feet, visibly scared to look directly at her dad’s face which was crimson with an implicit emotion she couldn’t decipher.

‘Haven’t I told you not to take anything from strangers!’ Shekhar almost yelled, his voice fluctuating with fright as he ran to the backyard to throw away the stuffed doll as far as his almost drained body could .

‘But he is not a stranger ,papa. I have seen him somewhere’

Shekhar stared at his daughter who stared back at him, her beautiful large eyes welled up with tears which started rolling down her flushed cheek in torrents smudging the kajal lining her eyes.

                                                ``````````````````````````````

                         Cyrus winced as the sharp needle pierced through his flesh insinuating the fluid inside the syringe into the curvy crevices of his vein. A sudden bolt of pain shot through his head as he jerked it to glance at his hand which was being deftly handled by the woman in white. The nauseating odour of the room cleansed diligently with lotion and dettol irked him more than the wound on his scalp that was sutured tight. His senses slowly returned back to normal and his bleary eyes were welcomed by the sight of Jennifer resting her head on the table next to his hospital bed.

In no time, the images of the morning rushed back to his head uninvitingly.

 Listening to Tara he had gone back to his room to lie down alone for sometime. Jenny’s arrival had brought an unprecedented joy to his otherwise weathered mind. Jenny’s presence felt like an oasis amidst the the desert the pandemonium inside his head was, which had been bogging him down for the past two months. How he wished she was single! The tattoo of the fluttering butterfly on her arm was the first thing he had noticed about her . It so suited her attitude – vibrant, alive, always on the prowl for beauty in all its forms to satiate the photographer in her.

Nestling her thoughts inside , he had washed his face from the sink, the ice cold water easing the stress out of him when a dash of movement on the mirror  prompted him to turn back.

The scene unfolding swiftly before him had knocked the senses out of him!

                                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`


Illustration sketched by Arvind Passey, team member. 

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