Chapter 27 from Team: Wordoholics.
Click here to read the 26th chapter in Bhakti's blog.
Click here to read the 26th chapter in Bhakti's blog.
Sound never dies. But we overlook its grey shades until we're at the receiving end. It selectively echoes into ears of listeners who're susceptible to its psychotropic aftermath. Shekhar Dutta had tried all diversions, distractions and drugs but nothing worked for him... he still could hear those series of echoes whenever he tried to be a solitary writer at the privacy of his seventeenth floor apartment while Tara was busy outside in her corporate life!
Darius: “Hey Bangaali I think love is not that bad...”
Shekhar: “So the stud lost his virulence huh?”
Darius: “Bro, there's a world beyond the priority of these files and masks... have you ever smelled the morning dew or bathed in the glow of reddish moon...?”
Shekhar: “Stop being godfather's dad Darius... you're already bowled... now lookout for your rolling balls!
Darius: “Bangaali I'll tell you everything once I wrap this up for once and all... you nailed it bro... I'm flying... it is like never before... Ah...!!!”
Shekhar: “Look bro, I think I got you... but you've reached the edge... you're at Shrinagar man! You're just there... you know how many voyeurs are there to document it even when you jerk it off... you getting me dear? Please don't fuck it up... Hey don't hang up the call... are you listening me?...”
Darius: “Hello, am I talking to the bald demented bastard?”
Shekhar: “...and are you the sissy love sick treasure hunter?”
Darius: “Bangaali, she is Jennifer... she's wonderful...”
Shekhar: “...and you'll be lying dead down those hills... she'll kill you bloody dork!”
Darius: “I care no more bro... it'll be a privilege to die for her... Jennifer is my wife...”
Before Darius could continue with his words of ecstasy, Shekhar had disconnected the call with a bang on his desk. He was scared... that was the first time he got the feat of uncontrolled palpitation.
Darius: “Hey hairless rabbit, it's me the radio-head... listen communication is no more safe... heading for a last role in Bollywood... don't try to catch my channel... there'll be jammers to take care of...”
Shekhar: “Radio-head, I knew you were out of these... how come...”
Darius: “Long story rabbit... may be some other day... just wanted to tell you...”
Shekhar: “Why don't you connect to my line zero... hold on... I'll switch it on... then we can discuss more on the weather eh?”
Darius: “My access to line zero has been suspended... listen... if I'm not able to reach there don't give up... it's not our work but our intention must be strong enough to strike the chord... getting me...?”
Shekhar: “At least send me your coordinates in bunny's special inbox... you can't just get away with your sinful ass...”
Darius: “There's a small ulcer in my mouth that's stopping me from laughter... are you getting carried away... are you wet my friend?... this' not the rabbit I know... well, apart from objective there is another thing I called you for... She has none except me... sometimes... you know what I mean don't you?”
That was the last word Shekhar had ever heard from Darius.Darius was not only a colleague of his covert profile but the man who was more than a brother, sharing his college blues to persuading him for joining the Intelligence Bureau. Today, as the roasted human flesh was found at the site of bomb blast, these echoes attained salvation from all miseries. No longer do they have to knock Shekhar Dutta's perplexed senses. Yes, sound never dies in bomb blast unlike human bodies but it migrates from one corner of this infinite universe to the other...
In last five years Shekhar had combed all possible addresses where the lady who stole his friend's heart could be, starting from Delhi to Cochin. After your best efforts when you fail to hit your objective you give up with old sayings- Man proposes, God disposes. It's when he lost all hope of ever reaching Darius' widow wife, one fine afternoon, while searching for an image in internet he landed on a page that contained the photographer Jennifer's contact number! Being the guy what he is, he couldn't afford to approach her directly. He needed a solid script. Cyrus provided what he needed. Meeting Cyrus Daruwala was another coincidence, a net-surfing luck by chance rather. Cyrus was the promising blogger who came to limelight after covering the Delhi University rape case. Shekhar Dutta didn't have the support of Government anymore. He was no more an undercover agent with a licensed gun. Apart from his sweet bonding with Tara, if anything big those nasty episodes of alternate mania and depression had snatched, it was his job of IB, something that he was most sincere at. Intelligence could dismiss him from the service but not Insignia... bugs of Insignia infested his mind like parasites do to large trunks. It is hard to distinguish Shekhar's idiopathic urge to infiltrate Insignia from patriotism but either way outcome would have been no different.
Tara entered Shekhar's study and found him fidgeting with the elastic of a black panty. Although she knew of her husband's perversive taste it was not something Shekhar does in open. She didn't know how to react. It was a man and woman blankly staring at each other with cold fixed gazes. Gulping the momentary silence Tara asked, “Shekhar didn't we agree on not bringing these props at home... there's a young girl we've at home...”
Shekhar's laughter muted her instantly. It was not Shekhar, but ten hyenas laughing from deep inside. Hateful laughters usually precede a cruel silence. He taunted, “So, what did you discover inside my drawer?”
A wrong act makes the longest tongue fumble... Tara was just a lady. She was the victim of circumstances, not much different from what Shekhar was, only difference being right at that moment they were standing at opposite sides of the same table.
“So, you slept with Aryan Ahuja... eh didn't you?” It was a veritable cloudburst, a long awaited one. Only a divorce could save them but time doesn't always give you a rifle when you have shells in your pocket.
“Check the bunny's mail kid, it has all your answers before we meet tomorrow... greatest mysteries relating to their election funding will be public in a couple of days if you wish so...”
“Dutta Sir, why can't we meet tonight? Even Jennifer is with me...”
“No Cyrus... tell her to be patient... I've something priceless stored for her in my chest since five long years... I'm tired of walking with others' burdens... You listening to me boy?”
“Most attentively Sir... any change in situation at your end? We're worried....”
“Chill... read all those separate attachments carefully... don't miss a word there... every word you find in black ink is actually written with human blood... you understand me?”
“Sir, is it ok if we pay you a short visit right now?”
“No way, Tara is not the one you think... she is a spy... warn Jennifer as well!”
“Yea... we too feared it...”
“Ah leave that now... after you finish reading these documents I sent you ping me back... I'll be sending you the raw blueprint of the cyberattack and detailed report of two minor scams”
“Sir, are you totally off... you're discussing these over phone!”
“Things have been taken care of... don't worry kid... you're safe... so as your assets... You're good at what you do... I see lot of hopes... India needs people like you... Always remember, your work may not find its destination, but your intention must reach...”
Alas, 12 hours and a second changed the entire color of a canvas. It redistributed happiness and sorrows like a faulty seesaw. Tara and Jennifer are crestfallen... Tara is devastated... Aryan is finding it hard to resume his chores after hiding his achiever's grin! Euphoria after detonating the rebel trio took its troll on Aryan's mind. He was meditating in a corner room of his duplex apartment, allotting a day leave to his immediate associate.
The sound of windchimes from the downstair center hall shattered his focus again. He pulled out his faithful beretta which was resting under a mattress. With careful steps and a firm grip over his pistol Aryan took the spiral staircase. The light of the hall was switched off. There was a dryness in his throat which he wanted to overcome. Claustrophobia when joins hand with fear of death even the toughest person surrender to his fate.
Aryan felt a piece of cold metal touching the back of his head and then the stern voice made him shake, “Yes, there's a a hole in my soul through which splinters can pass... Ahuja, any castling chances left for you or, shall I ask for your last wish?”