Thursday, June 7, 2012

RAMANUGEM CHRONICLES – MURDER AT SUNDARAM VILLA - PART II


** To all of you who had threatened to murder me if I don't post the next part soon! ;) As Promised!


They walked to a tea stall nearby. Alex lit his Gold Flake while Ramanujam ordered a special ginger tea. “Okay Alex. Tell me what is Sunita’s take on this!” “Well. She is crestfallen. She claims that he didn’t have any such enemies who could kill him. I asked around. There were no troubles between them. They were a very happily married couple!”

“Hmm.. Interesting! And what does Mr.Sundaram think of his son-in-law? Alex took a long puff. “I got the exact same account as Sunita. He greatly respected him. Raghavan took care of the business after him. Mr.Sundaram has even transferred Sundaram Textiles to Raghavan’s name as he had given up all hope on Chander!” 

“Oh oh. Recipe for Murder!” Ramanujam raised his eye brows as they saw Martin scurrying towards them. “Martin, my man. What have you got?” The Gold Flake had breathed some energy into Alex.

“Not much Sir. Time of murder: 10:15 – 10:45 PM. Murder weapon: A regular semi automatic! He was shot from the back. Bullet pierced through his heart. Distance: about 15 feet. The killer probably fired from somewhere near the gate or garden probably. And then he disappeared into the darkness.” Martin sounded pleased with his deduction.

“Hmm… Then it should have been an outsider or Sunita may be. Everyone else was inside the house. What do you think Gem?” Ramanujam was still staring at the gate when constable Rangasamy came running in. “Saar… we have found it. We have found the murder weapon. It was in the dustbin outside the house.”

“Good work Rangasamy. Send it for finger-prints. I am sure you will not get anything though.” Alex was scratching his head. “But why would he throw the murder weapon there?” Ramanujam’s eyes suddenly lit up. “Well, if he wanted it to be found! What if he could not keep it? What if it belonged to someone in the family? Let us talk to Chander.”

Chander was sulked in a chair staring at the ceiling. Alex took the lead this time. “I am sorry for your loss Chander. Were you close to him?” “Very close. He was the only one in the family who liked me. He used to give me my pocket money. He was not my brother-in-law. He was like a brother to me.” Chander was in tears.

“Did he give you company to your parties?” Alex pushed. “Raghavan.. no way. He wasn’t exactly a chick magnet. He was too loyal to my sister. So much that I felt it was boring. He wouldn’t even drink grape juice fearing it could be wine. Why would God take away such a good man?”

“Did anyone in the house own a pistol?” Ramanujam’s question took Chander by surprise. But he recovered quickly. “Yes. Raghavan did. But it was lost a month ago. We had filed a complaint but was never found.” “I guess it is, now! Is this the one?” Alex showed him the murder weapon. “That is it. Where did you get it?” Chander looked perplexed.

 “Well... It was the one which killed Raghavan. Tell me something. Did it have a silencer too?” Ramanujam interjected.  “Ohh err yes!” Chander’s voice was shaky. “Now why would he have a silencer?” Alex had a frown on his face. Chander was scrambling. “Well... I used to teach him shooting. We practiced in the woods behind our house, mostly in evenings. So we used a silencer to avoid scaring our neighbors and people in nearby huts.” Alex raised his eye brows but Ramanujam quickly ended the conversation. “Don’t worry. We will soon get to the bottom of this.” Ramanujam and Alex slowly walked away talking to each other in whispers.

“Someone stole his pistol just to kill him. Seems like a well planned cold blooded murder. What next, Gem?” There was something that was troubling Ramanujam. “Hmm.. Where was Raghavan coming from?”

“He was returning from work. His close friend and manager Karthik was with him. Raghavan dropped Karthik at his place and then drove back home.” Martin was looking for some recognition for his research. He got none. “Well, I think we now know who to meet next!” Ramanujam looked at Alex who ordered Martin to get the jeep. “Let us stop at the factory for 10 minutes”, added Ramanujam.

Karthik’s house was a big newly built mansion. Karthik’s wife Radhika ushered them in hesitantly but Karthik was composed in greeting them. “Mr.Karthik. Sorry to bother you at this late hour. I guess you would have probably heard about Raghavan.”  Alex was eagerly watching his reaction while Ramanujam was silently observing Radhika.

Karthik didn’t seem to take the bait. “No Inspector. What happened to him?” “He was killed at his residence about 3 hours ago. We heard that he was with you before going home. So we came here to see if you could help us with more details.” Karthik was terrified. “Oh my God. That is so unfortunate. He was my best friend. Who could have done this? I will not leave that bastard!” Radhika was looking a bit tense.

“Calm down Mr.Karthik. We will nab him very soon. How long have you been close friends with Mr.Raghavan?” Ramanujam’s eyes had found something.

“Wait a minute. Are you suspecting me?” Karthik was stuttering now. “Not yet. Don’t make us do that. Just answer our questions, please!” Alex was getting restless. “Well, I am sorry. We have been very close for about a year now.” Karthik glanced at Radhika who turned away.

“And what type of a man was Mr.Raghavan?” Ramanujam’s eyes were still fixed on Radhika.

“Well, he was a gem of a person. He was a very talented and a great leader. He was a very honest and humble. Everyone in the factory loved him. He was the bonding force in his family. Mr.Sundaram loved him so much that he had made Raghavan in charge of all his property instead of his own son Chander. He was...”

“Mr.Karthik. It would be good it you stop wasting our time and tell us the truth.” Even Alex was stunned at Ramanujam’s sudden outbreak. “What do you mean?” Karthik was gasping for air.

“Do we look as if we are fools? You joined the factory as an ordinary worker 2 years ago. We all know it takes 10 years to get to the position of a manager. But you became not only the manager but also Raghavan’s best friend in 2 years. Even someone who has been the manager for 5 years cannot afford your palatial mansion. Explain that to me, would you?” Ramanujam was on fire.

“He was impressed by my work and my ability and… and…” Clearly Karthik was out of words.

“Your wife?” There was a stunned silence in the room. “Come out with it Karthik”, yelled Ramanujam.

“Raghavan was not always a nice man. Before marrying Sunita he was a vagabond and a womanizer. He had tricked Radhika into loving him and then left her for Sunita. At that time, Radhika was pregnant with his child. I married her immediately to save her from embarrassment. Then I used it as leverage against Raghavan. I had dug up his mysterious past and had found quite a few skulls. Raghavan was a smart man and always took good care of me in every sense of the word as he realized I could be a threat to his new found image. Now why would I kill a hen that lays golden eggs for me?” Karthik had gained his composure and was looking Ramanujam in the eye.

“Okay... tell me something. You were with him until almost an hour before he was killed. Did he receive any odd calls or threats during the day? Anything unusual!” Alex interjected.

“Well, no. In fact, he had forgotten his cell phone at home.” Karthik’s statement sent Ramanujam cart-wheeling.

“What?” screamed Ramanujam. He jumped out of his seat. “Thank you very much, Karthik. Alex, come let’s go!” Alex and Martin followed him, perplexed.

“How the hell did you know about his wife?” Alex was still dumbstruck at that master stroke. “Well, I didn’t. But it was worth a shot, wasn’t it?” Ramanujam winked playfully.

“You were guessing! God... you are wicked!” Alex and Martin burst out into laughter. “Well, let us call it: “Instinct”!” corrected Ramanujam.

“Okay whatever. We are getting nowhere. Karthik seems to have no motive either. Could it be Radhika? I think we will have to look at other suspects now. He is a big shot. He could have so many enemies. Where do we start now? There should be some clue somewhere!” Alex seemed very frustrated.

“There is, my friend. There is!” Ramanujam took a moment to look at their awestruck faces. 

                                                                                                                                       - TO BE CONCLUDED

53 comments:

  1. Ohho...what a twist! When is the part 3 coming? That was very creative of you..Now, don't hurry. You have already set our expectations high. So, take your time and give us more suspense. Good one Raj. Just came back from work and what a pleasure to read it for the evening. :)

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    1. Thank you so much. :) I am so glad the story made a relaxing read for your pleasant evening.

      I am both thrilled and nervous to see the expectations go up. And I desperately hope to live up to them. Part 3 is almost ready. :)

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  2. Good One Raj! Liked the Narration.

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    1. Thank you so much Krupaa. I am so glad you like the writing style. :)

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  3. OHHH my god this is awesomest I tell you Raj you should script this to a nice drama excellent :) and again to be continuedddddddddd I am really going to hunt u down :D

    You are super good in this :D keep it up. And PART III soooooooooooonnnnnn plsssssssssssss

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    1. omg Ramya.. your comment just made my day. :) Really honored to see such a wonderful comment. I really love this genre and it is extremely tough yet great fun to write. :) And I am so glad you like it.

      P.S: Now I am trembling at that threat! ;)

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  4. Wowy Wow Raj.. Too good... Great creativity which keeps the reader hooked and curious throughout the post and also leave him desperately waiting for the next part.. Good work.. No doubt very soon you are going to publish a bestseller book.. Start working on it :)

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    1. BTW I was so excited to see that the second part is been posted.. And yes waiting for the next one and write it soon or else murder is sure to happen :-P

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    2. Thank you soooo much Sonia. :) That was a lovely lovely comment. It means a lot and will be a great motivation for me to write more in this genre. :) And yeah.. thanks for reminding me on the book. :) Have to work on it more often. :(

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    3. Another murder threat! :) I am sooo scared right now!

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  5. I think I know who it is. But it's definitely not his wife. Will wait to find out.

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    1. hmmm... I have a strong feeling that you may be the next Sherlock Holmes. :) I think you may have found out the culprit. Let us see who the culprit is.. you never know. ;)

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  6. Wow what a mystery Raj !!!... you have come up with a winner "Ramanu Gem" and the clue to your next episode...forgetting the mobile at home !! Love the way you have written the story. All the very best

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    1. Thank you so much Engram. Your wonderful words mean a lot and I am so happy you like the mystery. You have latched on to the clue very well. :)

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  7. Very fine & exact character delineation,it makes the story so much more interesting.Please continue with this genre even after this one ends.

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    1. Thank you so much Indu for the wonderful compliments. :) It really means a lot. I love this genre and I do intend to continue writing on the same if creativity and all of you wonderful readers stays on my side. :)

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  8. Again, we have to wait. But I like the way to brought the grey shades of the dead character. Will wait for the next part. :)

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    1. Again Sorrrryyyy Saru. :( For the wait. But the climax is not far off. :)

      Thank you so much. Glad you are liking the way the story is laid out. Let me know if you see loopholes or flaws too. :)

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    2. Nothing at all. I actually like mysteries a lot. Even if I wish I can't find faults in it. But yes, keep writing...:)

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  9. waiting waiting waitngggggggggggggg sir ji ... who is the mystery person , I think I will second purba on that ...

    practisising shooting in evening using silencers hmmm thats what i need to do when i practise :)


    Bikram's

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    1. hmmm... quite a few votes for the innocence of Sunita. Let us wait and watch. ;)

      ha haa.. guess that is a fancy enough way to practise shooting, right? :D

      And the wait is almost over for the climax! :)

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  10. You have a wicked detective, sir! And I like the way you're stirring up the brew! Battlespeed!

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    1. Thank you so much Umashankar. Glad you are liking the concoction. ;) Hmm.. Ramanujam is for sure wicked. :) Hope you like the next part. :)

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  11. Poised brilliantly. It was like reading a murder-mystery book which I don't want to end. So excited there is a Part 3 too. But I think I have an idea who the culprit is! :D

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    1. Thank you so much Akshay. As usual, your lovely comment brought a smile in me. :)

      hmm... thinking gear in full swing I guess. Let's see how your deduction stacks up. :) It is very heartening that quite a few people seem to have an idea about the culprit. Means that the story is no that boring. ;)

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    1. Thank you so much Upasasna. I am really happy that the story has kept you hooked. :) Next part on its way. :)

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  13. Replies
    1. Make it a series !

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    2. Thanks machii.. I will definitely try. That is my intention too. To write a series out of it! So you will see more unless some reader gets so bored and murders me! :P

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  14. That was honestly amazing work Raj. As I read every Line, my face was getting closer and closer to my laptop screen. So gripping. Pls pls pls write the next part soon :-)

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    1. Thank you so much for the wonderful words Ashwini. You really made my day. :)

      You don't have to wait more. The next part is almost done! I have already a lot of death threats to motivate me to write faster! ;)

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  15. Enjoying the story, Raj! Good twists. Let's see how you conclude this.

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    1. Thank you so much Rachna. Glad you like the story! I hope you like the ending. :)

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  16. Guess its got something to do with that cell phone he left behind eh? Or was that just to confuse? Anyways, eagerly waiting for the concluding part...Good Work Raj....Nice twists and turns :D

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    1. hmmm... thinking cap full on. ;) hmm.. way to go Detective. ;)

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  17. what the hell! I thought I would know whodunnit this time! When's the next part?

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    1. errr... sorrry again. I can understand the agony of waiting. :( Apologies.

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  18. still "to be continued" ? & I thought I would get the advantage by reading it after so many days of you posting it!
    will be waiting for the next part :)

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    1. Dont worry.. the wait isnt too much. :) Sorry for the little wait though. :( And I am so glad you are liking it.

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  19. Fortunately for me, I am reading it at one go.. Cant wait to go to the third part.. tata byee!!

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    1. yeah Jenny.. it is really nice to read mystery stories at a stretch. Am so glad you are loving it. Hope you enjoy the finale as well. :)

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  20. wow what twist ! waiting eagerly for the concluding part ...

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    1. A very warm welcome to you TTT. Am so glad you liked it. Do let me know how you like the finale. :)

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  21. I like how you brought in Karthik and added some drama to the second part. That was a good idea.

    The forgotten phone seems to have lit a bulb in Ramanujam's head and Alex was still wondering about the 'wife-connection?' Now what would he do without the Gem! :). Raj, I love the way you write, and you know what -- I'm ready for the next part.

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    1. Thank you so much for the wonderful wonderful compliment. You really made my day! :)

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  22. :) Great one, waiting for the next installment. By the way he would either be shot at the back or shot from behind. Just check that bit.
    write 30,000 words and be published.

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    1. A very warm welcome to you Sharmila. Am so glad you liked the story. And thanks for pointing out the discrepancy. Will take a look at it.

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  23. had to read part 1 again coz i forgot the build-up and now i am going to read part 3 before i forget both part 1 and 2. this is heading towards an explosive finale :)

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    1. Thank you so much Deb. I am sorry for having to break it out into 3 parts. :( I know it is tough to read it in parts and the wait is agonizing as well. I am so glad you like it. :) Thanks for the lovely compliment.

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