Monday, January 7, 2013


“I would rather remain single all my life rather than marrying in such a treacherous family like yours!” Aditya’s parting words had killed Sumitra’s soul. She woke up every night remembering them; terrified by their callousness. “I believed you when you said your father had not stolen the money in his factory. I believed you, didn’t I? And now he has the tenacity to cheat my father with this fake money. You know I would have married you even if you had told me that you could not give the dowry my dad asked for. You broke my heart Sumitra! I loved you so much.” Aditya had tears in eyes while Sumitra had tears in her heart.  How could he be so vicious? The tormenting image of Aditya leaving her minutes before their marriage slowly gave way to the more devastating visual of her father sitting lifeless in the middle of the house. “My little girl… I want to ask you only one thing. You believe your father, right?” He asked with imploring eyes which rained tears seeing his daughter nod vigorously and collapse on his lap. He whispered softly in her ears: “That’s all this old man wanted to hear my child! That’s all!” That was his last whisper.

The four men were talking in low voices. Raghav went a little closer and positioned himself behind a banyan tree. The man who was speaking animatedly was the man who Raghav had trusted the most. “Kishorilal sahib.. It was a master stroke to have the currency serial numbers included in the house pledge agreement. Poor Ramcharan didn’t even know such a thing existed when he signed the papers. You easily matched those to what you had withdrawn from the bank that morning and we did the rest to frame him for giving us fake money as dowry!” Aditya was bragging away. “Actually Ambarish uncle set it up nicely.. What an act it was! Getting his own money robbed and framing it on Ramcharan just days before the marriage. And then we could play the fake dowry money drama to completely crush him. It was all too easy!” Raghav wanted to strangle him right away. But he stopped himself. He was not ready.

Ambarish who was silent all this while spoke slowly and frigidly. “You just had to break the man.. And then he killed himself. I was really annoyed when your father decided to get you married to that Sumitra. I only got my element back when you explained me your master plan. I must say... I couldn’t have asked for a better son-in-law. I have had my eyes on that palatial house of Ramcharan for a long long time. That is certainly worth a killing. Now we get that free of cost and I get to keep his gratuity and pension as a souvenir!”  Aditya interjected. “Let us not forget how important a role my dear friend Ajeesh has played here. And not to forget his sexy but lethal car! Honestly, I liked Sumitra. I feel a little sad for her.” They all burst into laughter. Kishorilal was still perturbed.  “We still have that problem with the house. You can’t just take it!” Aditya dismissed that nonchalantly. “That I am going to take care of without beating a sweat, Sir!” His wicked smile brought solace to the others.

Raghav could not bear to hear a word more as his blood was at its boiling point. He returned home to see Sumitra sitting lifeless in the middle of the house. Just like father. He caressed her head, she turned away. He held her hand gently. He couldn’t feel her pulse, but her pain flowed through him. She couldn’t feel his touch but the glitter in his eyes meant that the wait was over. Finally the echoes that pound her ears would soon stop. “They are here. I saw them. After three months, they have come out from hiding. They feel fear no more. The time has come. We have waited long enough.” His eyes were spitting fire. That moment they heard the door open!

The air inside the house was filled up with lethal venom as familiar evil made its way in. “Ahh.. here we are! Take a look at our catch. The trophy for our master plan! It was easier than I expected. I didn’t really think that we could get rid of that Raghav so easily. We didn’t have to do anything. The guy killed himself. What a shame!”  Aditya sounded a little disappointed.

“You haven’t felt too much pain boy, have you? When the only two people you ever cared for in your life are no more, you easily tend to question the reason for your existence. And don’t forget, he had the impossible task of paying up for both the money his father had borrowed from Kishorilal and also the money that was purportedly stolen from my factory!” Ambarish was methodically stone cold in his inference.

Aditya’s best friend Ajeesh made his presence felt. “That is why it was so important to make it look like Sumitra had also killed herself. If Raghav had known that we had planned that, he would have certainly come after us for vengeance. You all should thank me for volunteering to do your dirty work.”

“Don’t get too arrogant boy. You were not supposed to come to this village again. You were the perfect stranger under whose car a dejected Sumitra willingly ended her life. Your act is over, remember. If anyone sees you with us, then we could be in trouble. And by the way, you didn’t do it for charity, son!” Kishorilal was fuming.  

Aditya patted Kishorilal on the back. “Relax! no one can do anything now. It is now time for the final act. I am going to make people believe that I am still so smitten by Sumitra’s love and that I can’t live without her. I buy this house from Kishorilalji and I spend a year mourning Sumitra’s death. That much time is enough for people to forget about wars. Then Ambarish uncle will persuade me to marry his daughter and I will reluctantly give in with a heavy heart. And then the bride and groom will live happily ever after! In this very house! Kishorilalji gets Ramcharan’s gratuity while Ajeesh gets the stolen factory money. How about that for a plan? Sounds fair, isn’t it!”

Thunderous claps applauded his deviously ingenious plan. A ghastly silence ensued as they looked at each other totally befuddled. Raghav and Sumitra had just welcomed their prey. An unknown fear gripped them. Aditya broke the silence. “Oh.. Come on.. That’s just the wind beating against the windows. What is with you guys? Has the dark night gotten to your nerves? Now don’t tell me that Sumitra’s spirit is waiting inside to haunt me. I wouldn’t mind a little bit of romance anyways!” His evil laugh echoed back from the walls in Ramcharan’s voice. An eerie chill engulfed the souls of the sinners!

“Bhaiyya… you can take care of the others.. but this one is mine! A few months ago, in this very house, he had promised me that very soon he is going to entrust me with his life. Now I am just going to take what is already mine. Nothing much has changed, has it?” Sumitra winked at Raghav who saw the rare twinkle in his sister’s eyes. “Sure my dear.. give him all the romance he is yearning for!”

After 2 hours of drinking and some heavy duty gambling, the three of them bid good bye and good luck to Aditya who was completely sloshed. He went straight to the bed. He heard the door bolt behind him!

                                                                                                                  - A SHORT STORY BY RAJ

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Read the Conclusion here

It had been one hell of a day for Raghav. Three months ago, he would not have imagined his life would take such a turn. He writhed in agony. How much did his heart and soul yearn to roll those three months back! He would kill for that. Yes he would. Kill! He was walking back after another fruitless day. With every passing day of ineptitude and futility, his vengeance simmered and its rumble matched the sky’s thunder. It was a dark night and the lack of stars in the sky was synonymous to the lack of compassion in his heart. Compassion is for the weak; hope is for the meek he thought. The bolt of lightning gave him God’s consent. 

Sumitra was pale and her pulse was frantic! This house which had flooded her mind with myriad memories of bliss now seemed alien. The windows were closed yet a macabre chillness engulfed her. She could hear a scream and it was the pain from a wronged soul. The loyal walls echoed the scream to a deafening resonance. It was their homage to their master! She had lost track of time and place. She was not in control of herself anymore. She would wander aimlessly around the house all day desperately searching for happiness which she felt was permanently buried inside those walls three months ago. She heard footsteps but they were not approaching her. They were leaving her forever and she hysterically ran behind them. They led her to that dreaded well!

It was a hellish night and the streets were deserted. The wind was lashing ruthlessly and even the burliest of trees were feeling rickety but Raghav was emotionless and resolute. Nature had nothing to destroy in a man who had been ripped apart by fate. That moment, a thunder bolt struck with vicious intensity, and in that split second flash he saw the silhouette of the car that had rendered his life meaningless. He could still see frozen blood in its tire tracks. Standing near the car were four men, each of them deserved a death as cruel as life was for him!

Sumitra stared into the well with a distracted glare in her eyes. For the first time, she actually realized how deep it was. There was an invisible chill from deep inside that was more forceful than gravity as she tried to hold her own. Suddenly she felt a touch and turned around with a start. It was her father. She smiled at him. He smiled back. Ironically the smile on his lips blended perfectly with the pain in her heart. She crumbled on his shoulders. He took the position of the well bucket and implored her to let him go. Tears rolled down his cheeks along with a lifetime of memories. He “My girl.. I want to give you something before I leave.” He opened his hands and offered his heart. It was then she noticed the hole in his chest. She shrieked and released the rope. The bucket splashed against the water and deposited a few drops of blood on her face. Her soul trembled at the reverberating echo. She ran inside terrified.

Ramcharan was a simple man who had lived a life of principle, simplicity and happiness. He lost his wife early and from then on his life revolved around Raghav and Sumitra. He worked all his life in the textile mill run by the local big shot Ambarish and his sons. A sad predicament to a man who was born in a well off business family! But bad luck and a wastrel uncle spelled doom and by the time he had reached his adolescence there was nothing left but for their ancestral house. But he was a very content man and found peace with his fate and happiness blossomed in the form of his adorable children. He watched them grow up to be fine individuals. While Raghav became a clerk in the bank, Sumitra took up teaching the little village kids in the local school. With just a few months for his retirement, the only thing that worried Ramcharan was Sumitra’s marriage. That was when Aditya came into their lives.

Aditya was a rich lad who was the charming and capable son of the local landlord. It took him only 2 visits to the local school to lose his heart to the lovely and caring school teacher. Ramcharan knew that Aditya’s family was beyond their means or status but Aditya’s personality and his sincere love for Sumitra sowed seeds of hope in Ramcharan’s heart. As he had expected, it wasn’t easy as Aditya’s father turned out to be the typical haughty landlord and put a huge prize tag for his precious son. His life long savings would only cover half of it and he reluctantly looked at this house as it gently smiled back at him. He immediately went to his old friend Kishorilal who happily lent him money on the house at a minimal interest rate. He was really surprised and overwhelmed by the rare benevolence of his miserly friend. He was going to retire and a lump sum awaited for him in a few months which he felt should be enough to recover the pledged house soon. Or so he thought!

                                                                                                                         TO BE CONCLUDED…. 

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