Monday, February 28, 2011

The Final Adieu - Part 4



Day 1, 06:20 pm


Sagar was euphoric. He was sitting in his room, replaying the conversation he had with Asheeta over and over in his mind. He recalled the incident when one of his dates complained he did not give her the undivided attention. Now he knew what it meant.

He had called his mother earlier and had told her about the new angel in his life. Vani had always dreaded the possibility of Sagar never finding his soul mate. But now she was relieved. She asked him to bring Asheeta home. Sagar said he would bring Asheeta provided she accepted his proposal. Vani had laughed out loud saying who would ever deny him. His mother was just like any other mother; she thought her son was the world's most eligible bachelor. Sagar smiled to himself. He wanted to make Asheeta echo his mother's thoughts. But before all that, there was something else he had to take care of.

Sagar always believed in his instincts. It never failed him. It all started when he was 6 years old. He was in his house backyard with his pet Julie, a dark brown German Shepard dog. It was the usual game he always played with Julie. He would throw the ball somewhere far and Julie would fetch it and give it to him. And the cycle continued. Both never got tired playing the same game.

On that particular day, he was playing with Julie, when suddenly he sensed danger. He felt he should not stay there any more. He dragged Julie into the house and tied her to a door. He then ran to his mother. and told her that something bad was going to happen. His mother dismissed him saying she was not ready for his pranks. The next second they heard a blast, like some bomb exploded. His mom ran out to check what happened. The tree, under which seconds earlier Sagar was playing, had uprooted itself and fell on the ground.

From then on, many times he had had that feeling, which had saved one or more lives. Now it was the same feeling. Though he tried to divert his attention by concentrating on his work, he could not stop worrying. His feelings had always been right. He wondered what might have happened to the man in Asheeta's story; if he died or was he saved. He decided he could not ignore it any more.

He opened the WonderWoman site on his laptop and started reading the morning episode.


********************


Day 1, 06:55 pm


Sabitha stood staring at the sea oblivious to the surrounding. She saw the waves rise and advance towards her as if to fill her with a tight embrace. Cool breeze crept on her every now and then making her shiver. She had been waiting for 5 minutes, but to her it felt like 5 hours.

She suddenly felt a strong pricking sensation pierce at her back. She immediately turned back and found a short and stout man staring at her. He was dark skinned and half bald. He was wearing a dirty lungi and he looked like he never took bath. Sabitha turned away from him but could not remove his image from her mind. She was used to stares pierce right through her body. Those were the times she felt she was naked and thousand blood thirsty eyes mercilessly relishing on her nudity. She felt the same now. She wanted to get away from there immediately. She glanced the beach once to check if her friend had come. There was no sign of her. She heaved sigh and continued waiting for her friend.

After a while she again felt something strange. The man who was staring at her had now moved closer to her. He was breathing on her neck. She felt sick to her stomach. She thought of moving away when a voice startled her

"What is your rate?"

Sabitha tried to ignore him but the man seemed persistent. He came closer and repeated the same question. Sabitha could not control herself any longer. She turned and glared at him for one long minute. She thought of so many things to yell at him. She wanted to call him names. She wanted to slap him. She wanted to beat him to death. She wanted to strangulate him. She wanted to kill him. But she could do nothing. She was overwhelmed with anger that her mouth failed her. Her body did not coordinate with her thought process. With great deal of effort she managed to raise her hand and warned him to get lost. He saw the look on her face and was gone.

Sabitha tried hard to catch her breath. It took her several minutes to come back to normal. She turned back to check if the man was gone. He was nowhere to be seen. She checked the time. It was 15 minutes past 7. She thought it was no use waiting for her friend any more. She could meet her next time. She turned back to move when something caught her attention.

She saw someone walk past her towards the sea. He looked like he was in his late 20s. At first look he seemed normal. But the closer she saw, she found an unmistakable streak of despair on his face. Without her realization, she was staring at him open mouthed. He went near the sea and removed his shoes. He stood still for an instant and started walking towards the sea.

The look on his face professed he had not come for fun. The man did not care about the huge waves splashing all over him. He did not bother to stop for anything. He just went on and on. Sabitha wondered what the man was about to do. And then the reality struck her. This was a suicide attempt.

Sabitha turned her head fiercely towards all sides of the beach. There was not a single soul nearby. All she saw was a couple with a kid and a group of young boys playing far away from her. She tried shouting for help. The wind took care to divert her voice anywhere but them. Only then she realized the situation she was in. There was a man's life at stake and she was the only possible one who could save him.

Sabitha went a little further into the beach. She called him to return. She did not know if he heard her or not. He had stopped in the middle as if waiting for some big wave to gobble him to the vast depth of the ocean. She was scared to go any further. She had learned swimming due to her father's persistence. But that was in a pool. Swimming in a sea was not the same. She may also become a victim.

She had read several stories about rescuers drowning along with the victims. When someone is drowning, their first instinct would be to breathe. So if they felt anyone move close to them, they would put their entire weight on the rescuer trying to come out, involuntarily drowning the rescuer along with them. So the first basic rule was to keep a safe distance from them and pull them with their hair.

Sabitha shook herself. She knew that applied only for people who wanted to live. But this man had gone into the sea to die. She shuddered thinking what would happen if he pulled her too along with him. But she knew her conscience would prick her all her life, if she stood there watching him die. She took one last breath and sprang into the sea.

It took enormous amount of her strength to walk past the waves. All the while she kept calling him, but he did not care to respond. She knew he would resist coming back with her. She thought she would plead with him to come back and if it did not work she would slap him. But even then what would a single slap mean to him? He was already distressed for God-only-knows-why.

This should have never happened
, she thought. I should have stayed at my office. I should have gone home directly. I should have never come to the beach.


Suddenly she found herself directly behind the man.

She touched his shoulder and made herself ready to face his protest. But to her surprise, he did not. He held her hands tight and walked back with her. Sabitha did not expect this type of a reaction. She decided the man was too scared to die. She remembered reading somewhere that out of all who try to commit suicide, only few succeed. She was glad the man fell under the majority category.

After coming out of the sea, she made him sit on the ground. He kept looking down not daring to look at her eyes. He looked very scared. Sabitha felt sorry for him. He did not even have the courage to die. She patted his back. She remained silent for a while allowing him to come out of the initial shock.

"What is your name?"

There was no response.

She held his hands tightly and whispered

"Everything is alright now, don’t worry"

There was still no response.

"Where is your house? Do you want me to drop you?"

Not a muscle moved in him. His eyes simply stared back at her. She could not deduce anything from his eyes. It was cold and blank, expressionless. She knew there was some deep pain inside him. But she did not know what. She felt his hand tighten his grip.

First positive sign she thought happily. She looked around searching for someone whom she might know, who could help her carry him. She suddenly felt the grip tighten very much that it almost hurt. She tried to withdraw her hand but could not.

He is scared she told herself.

"It is OK, I will take care of you" she said and again tried to withdraw her hand. But he did not seem to give in. He looked deep into her eyes and said "I am sorry".

For a moment Sabitha did not understand what he meant. And then she knew. Her body secreted a rush of adrenaline demanding her to flee from the scene immediately. She tried to rise on her feet but stopped mid way when she saw him clutching a knife on his other hand. She started to call for help but he placed the knife on her neck and said

"One word and you die"


********************


Sagar was driving his bike like a mad animal. He had finished reading the morning episode of Asheeta's story. He had learned that the man was not planning to die, but to kidnap an unsuspecting woman.

One part of his brain was blaming Asheeta for not warning him. Another part was blaming him for not reading the episode earlier. Somehow he knew that the man was real and he was going to kidnap some woman. Asheeta had mentioned in her story that the kidnap was going to happen in a beach. Sagar concluded that Thiruvanmyur beach was one of the most remote beaches and he decided to check there.

Sagar reached the beach in a few minutes. He did not bother to park his bike. He just pushed the bike down and searched frantically for any sign of abduction. At a distance he saw a man usher a woman towards a car.

Sagar lunged towards them. He saw the woman almost being pushed into the car. He did not want to let them go. If he missed them, he may never catch up with them. He shouted at them to stop.

The man turned and looked at Sagar for a second. Then he quickly moved to the driver seat and started his car.

Sagar immediately pulled his gun. He did not have any other choice. He fired a shot close to the car. The man immediately stopped the car engine. By now Sagar had moved close to the car.

"Put both your hands out where I can see them" Sagar shouted.

"Look, you don't understand. She..."

"Do as I say" Sagar roared.

The man obeyed.

"Now open your door using your right hand from the outside"

The man again obliged.

"On your kneels and hands on your head, now"

"I...I was just..."

"Shut up"

He then opened the car and pulled the woman out.


"You are safe now ma'am" Sagar assured her

"Oh please, don't hurt my brother"

Sagar looked up at her shocked.

"What did you say ma'am?"

"It was my fault. I fought with my husband and came here. My brother..."

Sagar was not standing there any more.

He ran throughout the beach. He searched everywhere. But there was no one he found guilty. He thought if he was mistaken. He debated if he was too late or was it all his imagination.

The woman and her brother were still staring at Sagar clueless of what was happening. Sagar went to them and apologized. They did not seem convinced. But since they already had their own set of problems, they did not proceed with any argument. They left the scene immediately.

Sagar suddenly remembered how tired he felt. He decided he needed some rest. He made a call to one of his junior officers.

"Hello" a voice answered.

"Hello, Sagar speaking. Will it be too much if I ask you a small favor?"

"Definitely no sir. Please go ahead"

"Thank you. If there is any missing woman report, I would like to be notified immediately."

"Sure Sir. Any other specifics?"

Sagar thought for a while.

"Nothing, this is sufficient"

Sagar disconnected the call and went to his bike. He would have to wait to know if his hunch was correct.


********************


Sabitha was sitting in the car shell shocked. She was so close to getting rescued yet she could not. She looked at the man who was now keen on driving. Sensing she was staring at him, he stopped the car and put it on neutral. There was not a soul in the street, it was totally deserted. He turned and moved towards her face. Sabitha tried to block him with her hands, but he was too strong for her. He pressed his lips hard on her ears and whispered.

"Good job done my dear. Continue your cooperation and I will let you go soon". He paused and added "I promise, you are going to have a great time with me"

He then smiled and resumed driving.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Execution



I stared at her in utter disbelief. I could not believe what she just said.

"Did you really say what I just heard?" I asked her still unable to accept it.


"Yes,
I really feel sorry for him. Take a look at this diary. Only few pages are filled. Then let me know how you feel" saying so she handed over the diary to me.

*************************************************************

It is my 7th birthday today. Dad got me my favorite car I always wanted at the toy shop next to my house. Mom made my favorite sweet. She also promised a younger brother or sister by next year. I was so happy today. I love my mom and dad.

*************************************************************

It is my 8th birthday today. My dad had promised something nice for me. I just hoped it was the cycle I had always wanted. Every time I walked across the shop, I pulled his shirt prompting him to buy it for me. But it was always the same reply "Some other day". I was praying sincerely hoping he would buy it this time, but no, he was drunk today too and I knew it was time to sleep.

*************************************************************

It has been two years since I wrote a diary. Life has changed a lot. Previously dad used to drink once in a while, but now there is not a single day when he is not drunk. Mom and dad always end up fighting. Dad argues for sometime, then he beats mom and dozes off. Mom is left crying the entire night. But she acts as if nothing happened. Can someone please tell me what is happening? I still love my dad and mom. But I just want them to stop fighting.

*************************************************************

Dad does not come to our house these days. Can someone tell me where he went? I just hate going to school. They call me by some name that I can't even spell. I have never heard such a word before. I will be a good boy hereafter. I won't go to excursions, I won’t watch cartoons, and I won’t have chocolates or ice creams. I just want my dad back. Please God, send him to me.

*************************************************************

Mom hates me. I don't know what wrong I did. She beats me all the time. Can someone tell me why? The other day she threw a bucket of hot water on me. It burnt a lot. The thought still gives me shivers. I was hospitalized for a few days. Mom took good care of me. I thought she will not beat me again. But no, how wrong I was, she continued beating me after returning; only this time it grew worse.

*************************************************************

I hate the boys at school. Today few of my class mates made me inhale something they had in their hands. I started coughing uncontrollably; I could not breathe for some time. Suddenly one of our teachers came out of the blue. The guys ran away leaving me all alone. The teacher thought it was my idea. She made me kneel down the entire day and also warned that I should never ever enter her class. How will I explain that it was not my mistake?

*************************************************************

I swore never to write a diary. But today I had to write this. I was on the way from my class to the library as usual. I was walking across the park which was usually empty when she came out of nowhere. She was one year senior to me. She was the prettiest girl in school and all the guys went gaga over her. I always avoided eye contact with her; somehow I did not feel comfortable with girls. She blocked my way. I tried to walk past her, but she pulled me close and laughed aloud. Suddenly few more girls joined her. They almost dragged me to the ladies room. I just can't write anything more. I feel sick and I want to die. But I am a coward. I do not have the courage to do anything. I am filth. I should have never been born. I hate her. I hate women. They are all just B*****S.

=================================

This will be my last diary note. Today is the day I really felt I was me again. I felt the taste of freedom after a very long time in my life. I was waiting in the bus-stand when she came out of the adjacent street. She was waiting for some bus. I wanted to have a better view of her, so I walked past her. She was probably in her early 20s. She was wearing a cotton saree neatly tied. She had her hair neatly combed. She was having a handbag which she held very close to her may be because of my presence. She was the perfect woman who any man would easily fall for. She threw a dirty look at me. I looked down at myself. I had not taken bath for several days. I ate what was left over at garbage nearby. I was thin, weak. My clothes were all shabby. I knew why she gave me that stare. But was it my mistake? I felt a sudden rage building inside me. The harder I tried to suppress it, it was getting stronger. When I could not control any more, I burst out. I did not realize what I was doing. Only when finished did I realize, I had killed her. I strangled her to death. But I somehow felt relieved.

*************************************************************


I closed the diary. I had just read how an innocent woman was killed. But still I was not sure if I felt sorry for the guy or the woman. My heart felt very heavy. Tears came to my rescue making me feel
lighter. I looked up at my best friend Anjana who was waiting patiently for me to complete reading.

She smiled at me gently and said


"If this guy had got a childhood just like anyone of us, he would not be now in a prison waiting for his execution"


"If this guy had at least one person who understood him, supported him, and stood by him, his life would have changed"


"God always sends only innocent sweet children to us. It is we, the family, the society, and the social background, responsible for what the child grows into"


"Do you still think a death penalty is the solution for this?"


I knew I would never be able to answer that question.

The Final Adieu - Part 3



Day 1, 10:30 am


Jacob was sitting on his bike parked near the besant nagar beach. He was tall, dark and lean. He was wearing a black T-shirt and a blue jean. One of his ears was pierced and a Sun-glass was hung on his shirt. It was evident that he had tried to give a macho look, but failed miserably. He was pondering about why Asheeta had called him so urgently. He remembered how frantic Asheeta sounded during the call.

It was the freshers day at college when both first met. Jacob was on his way to the restroom when he was caught by a group of senior girls. He being very sensitive by nature sent shivers through his body. Yet he tried to remain calm. The girls made him turn left, right, sit, walk, swim on the ground and so much more. He did everything dutifully. Then they started evaluating his worth. He heard different voices scream

Bring 10 rupees and take Jacob along

Buy anything and get Jacob free


They taunted him and made him feel like dirt. He felt humiliated and his whole body started to tremble. But he forced a smile on his lips. He acted as if he was also enjoying the joke played on him. But his heart was pleading for help, someone to rescue him from his agony. Just then a female voice startled him.

"Jacob is worth more than all of you put together"

It was Asheeta standing behind them with their department HOD.

After that incident, Jacob and Asheeta quickly bonded together as the best of friends. They had nothing in common. It was a mystery for the entire college how they could get along. When she was interested in rap and hip-hop, he liked soft melodies. When her favorite sports were tennis and cricket, he was more into chess and carrom board. When she liked watching National Geographic’s and Discovery channel, he would watch speech delivered by his favorite guru. But when the same guru was later convicted for fraud and crime, she made sure not to mention anything about it to him. That is exactly what he liked her for. They accepted that they were different and did not force themselves with each others views.

Jacob kept checking his cell phone for any calls or messages every now and then. The beach was deserted except for few guys playing cricket. Here and there, young couples were scattered not minding the hot Sun directly above them. He spent time watching them in action. After what seemed to be an eternity, he received a message on his mobile.

I am here. Wer r u?

He alighted from his bike and locked it. He spotted Asheeta standing far away next to an arch constructed in the middle of the beach. She seemed to be checking her mobile, possibly waiting for his call or message. He started walking towards her.

Sensing that he was behind her, Asheeta spun around.

"Hey Jacob" she said in a cold voice.

"Hey yourself. What..."

"What the hell do you think you are doing? Have you gone nuts?"
she growled without giving him a chance to complete

"Slow down Ash. Tell me what happened?" he said in a pacifying tone.

"You happened"

"Can you speak proper English?" he asked still patiently

The calmness in his voice made her succumb to his request. She explained about the meeting she had with Sagar and showed the mail printout to him. He read it carefully and looked up at her.

"You think it was me, huh?" he asked mildly irritated.

Just then they both felt someone walk behind them. Asheeta's immediate instinct was to hide the paper, but a strong hand quickly held her and grabbed the paper from her. She looked up to check who it was and froze. It was Sagar.

"So...is this your little secret?" he asked with acute sarcasm.

"What...What are you doing here?" she asked trying to keep her voice calm.

"May I ask you the same question?"

"From when did chatting with friends in a beach became a crime?" Jacob interjected.

Sagar studied him for a moment and continued.

"Are you her boy friend?"

"That is none of your business" replied Asheeta who had regained her composure by now.

"Well, then let us talk about our business. I want to know what exactly happened"

Asheeta remained silent for a while. Then,

"Well, I was not completely honest with you this morning. But whatever I am going to say now, is the truth to the best of my knowledge"

"I am all ears"

"Normally, whenever I finish writing an episode, it is my routine to send a copy to Jacob. He acts like an editor for me. He reviews my blog and presents with feedback. Day before yesterday, I had sent him yesterday's episode. Later when I was asking him for his review, he said he had this idea to increase the popularity of my story by playing a prank. He said he would send a mail similar to the one in my story, and if police got involved, my blog would become an instant success. So, I thought..." she left the sentence incomplete and looked at Jacob.

"This is insane. It was a joke" Jacob said alarmed.

Sagar did not look convinced. Jacob's eyes moved back and forth between Asheeta and Sagar for a while and finally rested on Asheeta.

"Ash, you knew it was a joke, didn’t you? We both had a hearty laugh about it later"

Asheeta did not utter a word.

"Oh bloody hell Ash, don't you believe me?" he almost screamed

Asheeta turned away unable to bear his gaze.

"I believe you" said Sagar

"You what?" Jacob asked disbelievingly.

"I know when I am being lied to"

"Oh...thank you...thanks a lot Sir. I can't believe this is happening. Someone who met me just 5 minutes back believes me, but someone who is supposedly my best friend does not" he smiled wryly.

"It is not like that Jacob, you...you don’t understand" Asheeta said trying to defend herself.

"Try me"

But Sagar came to her rescue.

"It was not her fault. She thought she was saving you by hiding this from me. Don't blame her"

Asheeta looked up at him with gratitude.

"I am so sorry Sir for hiding it. As you said, I thought it was Jacob, and I thought I should not turn him down"

"Yeah, I understand"

"By the way, what did you say your name was Sir?"

"I never told you my name"

"Aaah, yeah right"

"Sagar, but feel free to call me Sagy" he said and smiled.

Asheeta was lost for a while.

Oh God! The smile...And his eyes...He looks dangerously handsome

The second that thought crossed her mind, she felt her cheeks turn red. Oh No! Not now. But the more she tried to control it, the redder her cheeks became. She turned away to avoid his stare.

But Sagar did not miss it. He saw her blushing and his heart skipped a beat. Till then he saw her as just a kid. But now he realized that she was a young pretty girl. He could only see her profile as she had turned away from him. Her arched eyebrows, dark grey eyes, pointed nose, scarlet cheek, tiny ears, full lips, everything made him go crazy. He had been with women more beautiful, but there was something else in her, something he had not seen in any other woman.

Out of the corner of her eye, Asheeta noticed that he was staring at her. It was all she could do to stop blushing. A smile lit her face. She felt on top of the world.

Jacob who was silently watching all this instantly realized what was happening. He was happy for his best friend. He excused himself saying he had some urgent work and left them to their privacy.

Asheeta waved him goodbye and turned towards Sagar. She wanted to know something.

"So...how did you find out?"

"Find out what?"

"That I was meeting Jacob here"

"Umm....You will get mad at me if I told you"

"Really?" she said raising one of her eyebrows.

"Well, I bugged your house"

"You what?"

"When I asked you to get water, I placed a mike under the sofa. My instinct told me you were hiding something. I had to find it"

"How could you do such a thing? You had invaded my privacy" she yelled.

"But, my hunch was true right?"

"Hell with your hunch. What if I had had an intimate conversation with my boy friend" she snorted without realizing what she just said.

Sagar felt a sudden stab in his heart. This was not something he had expected.

"Then thank God you had not called your boy friend" he retorted

"I...I don't have a boy friend" she admitted guiltily

"Whatever!" he said. "But you should know, in today’s world, the word privacy has no meaning. All your calls, mails, messages even if deleted at your end are stored in some remote server. Any one with authorization could access it. This applies everywhere, facebook, orkut, skype, you name it"

Asheeta was still glaring at him angrily. Sagar thought he chould somehow convince her.

"You know, the first time I saw you, I was really angry at your parents for naming you such an insane one like Kannama. Only when you told your real name was I relieved. Your name is very beautiful..." he said and added "...just like you"

If he had expected her to blush, he was wrong. She stared at him with much more hatred than before. He did not understand what had gone wrong.

"Kannama is my mother's name"
she clarified with gritted teeth

For a second Sagar wished he could vanish into thin air. He grinned sheepishly.

"So...anything else?" she asked curtly.

"We haven't yet found who sent the mail Ash"

"Can we just drop it?"

Sagar looked at her meaningfully. She understood what he intended to say.

"Don't start your instinct crap please. It was just some jobless guy, trying to play some prank on you. Don't you have some real job to do rather than following a faceless coward?" she said in a mocking tone.

"Hmm...you are right..." he said and after a pause added "At least hold yourself from posting any further episodes until we are sure it was just a joke"

"Not possible Sagy, the next episode would have already been posted"

"What do you mean by would have been?"

"Mine is a daily serial, posted at morning 07:00. I generally save the episodes the previous night as draft and schedule it to be posted on the next day 07:00 am. It saves me the trouble of waking up early, you know"

"Oh...any idea how many would have already read today's episode"

"Wait, let me check"

She took her mobile and browsed her blog.

"In the past 4 hours, there have been 74 views and 6 replies"

"hmm...What happened in today's episode Ash? Did he commit suicide or was he saved by the police?"

"I dont think it matters Sagy. Trust me"

"Ummmm....Fine...I just hope you are right" he said though he was not convinced.

They got up on their feet. There was nothing more to help them prolong their conversation.

Sagar extended his right hand and said "So...I guess this is a goodbye then"

Asheeta hesitated for a second and then shook hands with him. She felt a sudden chill spreading and involuntarily her cheeks turned bright red once again. Sagar admired it for a while and let go of her hands.

"Bye. See you later" she managed to say.

"When?"

"What?"

"Never mind, Bye"

Sagar stood there for a long time watching her go. He lost track of time. He did not remember how long he was standing there when he was suddenly interrupted by a call. It was his senior officer asking him to come immediately for some urgent work. He disconnected the call and said to himself My dear Ash, I can't just let you go. Very soon I will come to you my dearest.

Asheeta was driving to her office. She was taking the usual left and right turns at the appropriate signals without her realization. Her mind was in a whirlpool of emotions. She had never believed in love at first sight. But this was second sight she heard herself justify. She shrugged her shoulders and tried to distract her mind by listening to some songs. She turned on the radio and tuned to mirchi FM. It played her all time favorite track 'Vizhi moodi yosithaal' from Ayan. She was so much engrossed in the sensual voice of Karthik that she almost shook when her mobile rang. It was some unknown land line number. She attended the call unsure if she should have answered the call. She heard only someone breathe heavily. She repeatedly shouted Hello, but there was no other sound at the other end. Frustrated she disconnected the call. The next instant she remembered the morning episode she had posted. She froze for a while not knowing what to do. Could it be a coincidence? May be I should call Sagar and tell him about the call. She took the visiting card he had given earlier and noted the number in her mobile. She kept sliding her mobile up and down debating if she should call him. What if he thinks it was a ploy to talk to him. May be my mind is thinking of excuses to get in touch with him. I wont give him that satisfaction. If he wants, let him come to me. But she could not help thinking Hope he does come real soon.

Both had no idea how soon it was going to be.


Day 1, 06:05 pm


"Hey Saby, can you do me a small favor"

Sabitha heard a voice call out. She did not even bother to check who was calling her.

"Oh no dear. I am leaving" she said and started off without waiting for any acknowledgment.

She was in no mood of any extra work. She had got permission to start early cajoling her project manager. She was not going to allow anyone spoil it. She had been fully thinking about the evening plan she had made with her friend. She was sure about meeting her until 10 minutes back. But then her husband had called and wanted her to come home early. He said he had some surprise for her and wanted to see her eyes bulge in happiness when he told her. She smiled thinking how much her husband had changed in the last few years; more understanding, more supportive and more expressive. She checked the time. She decided she could not meet her friend. She had to tell some lie like she had extra work, some guests came, or whatever that came to her mind.

She went out of the magnificent 10 storey building. She walked on the platform and kept checking for any empty autos. After around 5 minutes, an auto came. The driver asked her where she wanted to go.

"Thiruvanmyur beach" she replied.

I will be with her for just 15 minutes. I may be delayed a little, but what difference is it going to make she thought

She had no idea how much difference it was going to make.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Buzz




This blog was picked up by BlogAdda for Spicy Saturday Picks


 
Riya was driving back home. She had had a very bad day. Her new project manager was giving her lot of troubles. He made her stay late in the night, always criticized her in front of her juniors, never ever appreciated however hard she worked. Engrossed in so many thoughts, she did not see a lady who sprang before her car all of a sudden. She pulled the brakes real fast, but it was too late. The damage was already done. The lady was knocked down; her head was in a pool of blood.

Oh my God! What have I done? What should I do now? Should I call the police? Then what will they do? They will arrest me immediately. Then how will I face Deepak? What ordeal would my parents face? Oh no! I cannot let this happen. I need to leave. That is the only option I have.

Light travels at the fastest speed. But thoughts travel even faster. Riya's mind had thought all this within a second and she took the ultimate decision of leaving the lady to die and drove her car fast to her house.

Deepak had already returned from office. He came with a big broad smile

"Honey, I......"

and stopped mid way. On seeing her face, he knew something was wrong. She was about to fall down. He went and caught hold of her in his arms and asked her lovingly

"What happened dear? You look terrible"

"I...I...."

Riya’s mouth failed her. She tried to speak, but no voice came out. She started crying uncontrollably. He could feel her body tremble. She was cold with fear. Her eyes went pale. She was not her normal self. But there was something else he was worried about. She was a heart patient. If she underwent any more stress, her heart does not have the capacity to withstand it. He could not let anything happen to her. He held her tightly in his arms and placed a wet kiss on her forehead. That seemed to give her enough strength to speak. She started telling what happened.

After listening to her, Deepak did not speak for a very long time. He seemed to be absorbed in deep thoughts. Riya was getting more and more anxious. She found his silence deafening. She blurted out

"Say something please. Do you think I should have called the police?"

"Oh no dear! Definitely not. I was thinking about our next action plan"

"What should we do now? Oh! You should not have married me. You......"

"Oh! Stop it Riya. We both will come out of this. Believe me. I love you and I need you. Do you understand?"

Riya could only nod her head.

"Take some sleeping pills and go to sleep. Also switch off your mobile so that no one disturbs you"

"Oh! How I wish I could do it. But there is an important project going on. And there is a probability that my project manager would call me anytime and if my mobile is switched off, that would raise unnecessary questions.

"No problem! Just remove the battery without switching off your mobile. If some one calls you, they will only hear ‘Not reachable’ message. Is that fine with you?"

"OK. What about you? Will you be able to sleep?"

"No Riya. I have some official work to do. I will take care of it and come back soon. You need not wait for me"

Riya looked deep into his eyes. She knew he was lying. He was not going for any office work. He was going out for her sake. But she did not question him any further. She kissed him on his chest and went to sleep.

She had a good sleep, but it was only for sometime. She heard some noise from the living room. It was some music.

Did I turn on the T.V before going to sleep? She thought for some time? NO. May be Deepak watched it for some time before going out.

Her legs were tired and heavy due to the pills. But she had to turn off the T.V. She walked slowly towards the living room. But NO! The T.V was not turned on.

Oh! It sounds like my......my cell phone.

She ran towards her cell phone. It was ringing her favorite song.

Oh God! How is it possible? Deepak removed the battery right before my eyes.

She was scared. Fear was eating her alive. Her whole body was trembling. She was sweating profusely. She was rooted to the spot and was unable to move even an inch. She could hear her heart pounding so fast. She waited thinking the ringing would stop eventually. But it never stopped. It was as if it will stop only if she attended the call. After what seemed like hours, she went near the cell phone and saw the caller id. It said Unknown number calling. She knew she had to attend the call. But what she did not know was that already her heart had reached the threshold level. It could not bear any more shock. But Riya went on and picked up the call.

She did not say anything. She was only listening. She could hear her own breath, but nothing else.

May be this is a dream? Am I dreaming all this?

She became relieved, but only for an instant when she heard a female voice whisper
'It will come back around'


Deepak returned home only in the morning. He had to make sure all the loop-holes were blocked. He did not want the accident to come out in any newspaper. He knew some one who was a good friend of the local police at the accident spot. Of course, he had to spend some money too. But all was taken care of. No more issues, he thought to himself happily. He could not wait to reach home.

He rang the calling bell. There was no answer. He waited patiently for 2 minutes. Then he again rang the bell. There was still no answer. He knocked the door. His stomach started to churn with a strange feeling. He sensed that there was something wrong. There was no movement inside the house. He became worried. He started shouting her name. Hearing his voice, the neighbors came running. All started knocking the door, some tried to peep inside the window. But it was totally dark inside and nothing could be seen. Finally they broke open the door. The sight Deepak saw totally caught him off the guard.


Riya had been dead for 2 weeks. All the formalities were over. All the relatives had left for good. Only Deepak's childhood friend Sameer was with him.

"So...tell me Deepak what happened?"

"I don't know. I...I should not have left her all alone by herself. It was all my fault. I...."

"Enough Deepak. You can lie to anyone but me. So tell me…how did you kill her?"

"Sameer??"

"Do not give me that innocent look. I know about you very well. I know why you married her. I know you killed her. But I am surprised how you did it without anyone's knowledge and also managed to escape from the police. So...are you going tell me or what?"

"------"

"Oh come on Deepak! Am I not your close buddy? We have shared everything till now. Last year when you married her, I really thought you have changed and married the girl you loved. But then you told me you did that only for her wealth. And exactly after a year, she is dead in your own house. I am really eager to know how you did it. "

"hmm...since you know almost everything. I will tell you. But give me your word that this will remain within us for the rest of our lives"


"Of course, Deepak. What are friends for? But just give me 40% of what you get and it will remain a secret"

"40%?? That is too much. May be…I will give you 10%"

"Hey...do you think you can bargain? Never mind! I will go to the police and tell them my doubts. Let them find out. Shall I?"

"This is blackmail"

“May be…But I am still waiting for an answer...Do you accept?"

Deepak was getting restless with every second. This was totally unexpected. He had planned everything so well, but now he could not allow anything to go wrong. Finally he gave in.

"Like you gave me an option? OK. I accept. "

"Good. So now are you going to tell me how you did it?"

"Well, actually it was not entirely my plan. I was on the look for a good opportunity to execute her without any clues. Then one day she came and told me about this accident. She said she knocked down some lady on the way back from office. I saw that as a good chance. So I gave her sleeping pills which will weaken her already weak heart, removed the battery from her cell phone right before her and set out. Before leaving, I put back the battery in the mobile while my wife was sleeping. I took care of all the formalities related to the accident. Then I called my wife's number from my computer. There is a facility to change my voice while in a call and also to hide the caller id. I used that software and spoke to her like that lady who got killed in the accident. That was all that was needed to end her life"

"Brilliant Deepak! So now everyone thought she already had a heart problem and no one could suspect you."

"Exactly! But since you know about me, you sensed it. Anyways, remember this should always strictly remain between us"

"Sure! And you too do not forget the 40% share. Hey, it is getting late. I will catch you later."



Deepak sat all alone in the living room. He did not know what to do. He did not want to stay there as he had this strange feeling that his wife was watching him all the time. Even now when he was telling his friend about how he killed her, he had this feeling that his wife was listening to all that was being said. He tried to forget it by drinking.

He had drunk too much. Just when he thought of going to sleep, his cell phone rang. He watched it with dismay. He could not believe his own eyes and ears. He was constantly receiving many calls from so many people offering condolences when all that he wanted was an escape from any of the memories that reminded his wife. So as his usual practice, he had removed the battery. Now how could it ring?

He saw the caller id. It said Unknown number calling. A mild shiver ran through his body. May be he put back the battery while he was drinking? He tried hard to remember but in vain. With trembling hands, he answered the call.

He immediately recognized his wife’s voice.

"It will come back around"