Crowning Glory-Chapter 22

Life’s Game– Read the previous part here
 
Cyrus could not dare to ask her anything. The fear, the Anger, the revenge was quite visible from her face. All on their way they spoke hardly anything except for the few lefts and rights for directions. Soon they arrived at their destination where Jenny would probably get answers to all her questions.
They pressed the doorbell and Tara Dutta opened the door.

 

“You, What are you doing here??” yelled Tara. Tara was expecting Shekhar and Roohi. Why this girl has come again, she thought and where is Shekhar , he is not even answering my calls.But nevertheless, Jennifer replied, “yes, it’s me Mrs. Dutta. Hope you are all fine.” Tara tried to hide her anger and irritation,” Oh ya, but may I know what brought you here.” Jennifer was about to reply just then Cyrus entered. Seeing him Tara felt uneasy. “Had this lawyer told everything to this journalist?” thought Tara worriedly. And before she could think of any other possibility Jennifer questioned her, “Mrs. Tara Dutta don’t worry your image is not at stake because you filed a divorce against your husband. But worry more Tara as you have now everything at stake.”
Tara frowned at this threat, “What the hell do you mean? Who are you to threaten me? I will call the cops. Have you forgotten who you are talking to? Tara Dutta, the CEO, the star of Page 3 parties.”
Jennifer replied calmly,” Calm down Mrs. Dutta else you will get fine lines on your smooth skin. And yes I have not forgotten anything. You wanted to call the cops you can, or if you insist I can help you in that.” with that she pushed Tara hard onto the chair and Cyrus quickly tied her arms to the chair.
Tara shouted, “What are you both doing here? You people are taking a big risk.” Before Tara could shout anything else Jenny flashed the Kolkata number and the card in front of her. “Do you remember anything”, enquired Jenny. Tara refused to speak a word. She shouted,” What do you think I am a telephone directory that you flash a number and I will display the name?”
Jennifer slapped Tara and played a recorded Voice in front of her. The voice which Tara had heard so many times, the voice which Jennifer recorded while she spoke with that kolkata number, the voice of the thief. Jennifer showed her hand to Tara, “Do you remember this?” Tara was shocked. She was not able to utter a word and then suddenly she gave a wicked smile,” Not that easy Jennifer. The day I saw you I saw you as a threat but seeing your carefree nature I thought you will not much of a botheration. But you are too smart then I thought.”

 

Jennifer interfered in between, “Yes, I am and now I will show you your true place and regarding Aryan don’t worry about your dear friend.” she turned to Cyrus and asked,” Cyrus, have you done what I asked you to do last day.” Cyrus nodded still not believing the action taking place in front of his eyes. He replied, “Yes.”  Cyrus handed a list of documents to her. Jenny smiled, “Good, and now you Mrs. Tara Dutta, I hope all your doubts are clarified by now. See as you rightly said it will not be so easy to dig out the truth so I have some gift for you.” She showed some documents which showed that Roohi was adopted by Shekhar and Tara and also some reports from a hospital which mentioned that Tara delivered a baby around twelve years back.”Now if you can tell me without wasting yours and our time anymore, why did you sell your own kid to Bibiji, why? And let me warn you if you don’t speak now a call and soon your family life, your divorce and your relationship with Ahuja will be out in all news channels. I have enough proof against you. And I would like to thank you because I learnt from you how to use the power correctly. You used your position and I used the name of my magazine, these days its very easy to lure people,just show them the limelight tell them that you will make them famous and they are ready to open all the locks. So Ms. Dutta the decision is yours you want me to tell what made you rise to the top in such short interval of time.
Tara by now was shattered. She could not believe that the image what she has created in all these years will break in seconds. She was so nervous that she cried and fainted.
Will Tara confess?? Has she really done anything??Read the next part here.
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Crowning Glory- Chapter 20

 Life’s Game-read the previous part here
Tara was calling Shekhar frantically. “Oh god, why the hell he is not picking the call”, cried Tara. She was irritated to the core- 5 calls and 10 messages, that’s what she had done in the last 30 minutes.
“Shekhar, you are so careless. Damn it.” she thought. She was annoyed with him, “Why did I ever marry you. It was the biggest mistake of my life.”
And her phone rang again, it was Principal from Roohi’s School,” Ma’am, this is the last call we are making to you. Please come and pick your daughter up. I really want to meet both of you. Your attitude like this can spoil a child’s life.” Tara was apologizing for the third time and anger was clearly visible on her face.
She hated to apologize and she hated to request. “This man, he had made me plead in front of a petty principal. He can’t work, He can’t earn and then he can’t take care of their daughter also; he is definitely good for nothing.” believed Tara and then she said determined to herself. “No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back and I am turning back. Yes, I have taken a right decision. I want to get rid of him as soon as possible”. She said convincing herself.
While she was thinking all this her secretary knocked at the door, “Ma’am, the clients are ready. They are waiting for you in the conference room.”
Tara just nodded her head and said, “I will be there.” She was not able to concentrate. This man had wasted her precious thirty minutes and more than that the principal was calling her every ten minutes and giving her lectures on moral and care. While she was thinking what steps to be taken next she got a call again from the school. “Hello Ma’am, your driver had come and Roohi went with him.” Tara disconnected the call and took deep breath thinking next about the meeting that was waiting for her. On her way to conference room she thought,” How selfish of Shekhar, he had no time to return to my calls. He never cared about anything.”
*********
Meanwhile Cyrus was busy not in his first assignment but in his commitment for Jennifer. He was falling for her. Law is everything he had thought all these days and with Jenny entering in his life he was taking the risk of playing with his first assignment.
“No one named Tara came here, Sir.” the voice at the other side answered. “Oh, ok. Thanks”, Cyrus replied. This was the last orphanage in Mumbai and from here also there was a negative reply. He felt discouraged. “If not in Mumbai where else?” he thought. Lot of confusion around him and then he started doubting Jenny’s instincts,” Is Tara really related or may be that orphanage is just making a hoax story to come in the lime light.” But then he never wanted to break Jenny’s hope. He decided to think again and try.
Jennifer on the other hand looked at the bits and pieces she took from Dutta’s Residence the other day. She took a serious look at the visiting card of Ashakiran Anathalya, the number that was written on the backside of the card. “Whose number it could be,” Jennifer thought. Without thinking a second more she called again on the number. After a few seconds the call got connected and it started ringing. She knew she had called once before and its someone from Kolkata.
“Namoshkar, Yara”, said a manly voice in a complete Bengali accent. (Hello, Who is this?)
Jennifer got nervous but getting back she asked, “May I know who is speaking?”
The voice on other side shouted angrily,” Kēna āpani ē’i yārā ​​jāni nā yakhana balā āchē.”(Why have you called when you don’t know who is this?). The man disconnected.
Jennifer tried that number again but then it was busy and after few no replies the number got switched off.
Jennifer got more suspicious and then she contacted Cyrus, “Hey, we need to know about this number, whatever details we can get. You told me once you have some friends who know hacking. I know it’s illegal but we need to do this. We cannot involve police at this point of time. We are dealing with some high profile figures and we can’t take the risk of letting them know what is in our mind.”
Cyrus replied, “Sure, I will try contacting my friends and let you know once I get the details.” He called some of his friends and by evening he had the details.
Want to know further. Read the next post here as the suspense unfolds.

Crowning Glory- Chapter 14


 
 Life Game
 
Previous part here
Jennifer’s phone was ringing when she woke up from the nightmare. It was Cyrus. She picked up the call and before she could say anything, Cyrus screamed from other side, “Where were you? I have been trying to reach you for so long.” 
Jennifer replied,” I, I was tired because of the work pressure so I just went off for sleep. I am sorry. “
Jennifer could sense his concern for her. She felt a bit relieved.
Cyrus didn’t know what to say further. He replied, “Fine! I am granting you an apology only this time but on the condition that you will come for another coffee date with me.”
Jennifer surrendered to Cyrus’s request with reason still unknown to her.
After keeping the phone down, she looked at her own reflection in the mirror placed on the opposite wall. She looked tired, she was still sweating, her heartbeat was high and even though Cyrus’s call had relaxed her, still she was feeling uneasy.
She was confused and afraid. “Why is all my past coming to me again?” she cried. And then the series of incidents that had happened in the last few days started coming back. She remembered seeing Aryan Ahuja, Tara getting perturbed after seeing her tattoo, the blog. Yes, the blog post she had read today. Are all these incidences related? She thought, “What am I missing? Is Tara related to all this? Is my doubt on her spot on or am I becoming too anxious and behaving like this because I do not want to go back to that hell.”
She took a deep breath and then thought of working on everything again. She started recollecting whatever had happened in the recently.  She thought about Tara, CEO of Lucky One Media, a lady who seemed dissatisfied even though she had all the power, Shekhar, her husband and the statement he had given. Why will a husband say something like this about his wife? Why had Tara not seemed close to Roohi, an adorable girl who could make anyone fall in love with her? How had Tara became the CEO in such a short span of time? What has she done to get the power? And in all this, Aryan Ahuja, a man who was a past in Jennifer’s life and now seemed to be close to Tara. Are they in a relationship together? Does Tara know Aryan from before?
Tara’s face came in front of her. She seemed to be well acquainted with Aryan. Were they both friends? They will be having some relationship for sure, might be she knew him from quite a long time otherwise an alpha lady like Tara will never pay heed to strangers.
She got nervous again as she remembered the words she read some hours back on Cyrus’s blog, the title of the blogpost. She quickly opened her laptop and searched the blog. She read the complete post, this time more carefully. With every word her heart beat rose and then she got struck at something, beyond which she was not able to read.  The post clearly mentioned about a tattoo being used by a gang. It had explained about the illegal goings on that was being done by the gang. What if Cyrus came to know about me? She feared. That thought it gave goose bumps to her. Somehow she did not want to loose Cyrus. But what could she do to get answer to her questions? She could not live with this fear anymore. After a lot of struggle she had reached where she was and now she had to be strong and face whatever was coming towards her. She consoled herself and promised that she will get answer to all her questions. 
Where should she start from? She wondered. All of a sudden a wicked smile came to her face- Tara! Yes, she thought. She would start from Tara. After all there had to be a strong reason behind her sudden rise. She might not get the answers to her questions but knowing about Tara’s rise of power she could easily gain herself a good position in her job and carreer.
She rose from her bed and went to the window and started making the plan on how to meet Tara. She was looking for a way when her phone buzzed again. She was irritataed by the sudden disturbance. “Oh, always at the wrong time,” she murmered. She went to pick up the call and was overwhelemd by the name reflecting on the screen. 
She took the call hurriedly and answered,” Hello, jennifer here.” 
The voice came from the opposite side,” Hi Jennifer, this is Shekhar, Shekhar Dutta. Hope you remember me. Well, I called you to ask if you could drop in at residence on Saturday night. It is Roohi’s birthday and I was wondering if you can spend some more time with us. ”
This was the chance Jennifer was looking for. Luck was in her favor she thought.”Yes, of course. I would love to, Mr. Shekhar. I will be there on time.”
Shekhar replied, “Thanks a lot Jennifer. You have reduced my stress.”
Jennifer felt fishy,” Stress?”
Shekhar trying to clear himself replied, “Oh, yes tension. (After all- remove) You know that Tara remains very busy and I have to do all the arrangements myself that too at such a short notice. By the way don’t forget to come.”
And then he disconnected the call.
Jennifer felt a sense of satisfaction after the call. “This will be my last chance”, she thought.
******
 “Whom were you inviting?” Tara inquired.
Shekhar replied,”Umm.. My friend, from a publishing house.”
Tara did not seem happy with this unknown guest invitation. After all, she was disturbed with all the recent developments in her life. She sarcastically replied, “Fine; you and your friends. I just hope they would prove to be of some help to you.”
Hearing Tara’s reply Shekhar got irritated and replied,” I too hope the same for you.” Saying this, he went out to see where Roohi was playing.
Tara was lost again. She felt hurt. She felt cheated. She clearly remembered how Shekhar used to be happy, cheerful and fun loving. She remembered when she had rejected Shekhar’s proposal, the way he had tried convincing her and when she had finally accepted it how happy Shekhar was. He used to do everything what Tara used to say. How proud he was of her and how he used to motivate her.
Even after marriage, things had not changed. Shekhar had supported her even in the toughest decisions of her life. 
“How has your love changed. Ironic, isn’t it?” she thought.
                                                       
There was a time when she had asked him if he wanted to have their child. He had replied, “Only if you want sweet heart. Though I would love to have a family” She had then put forward an unusual request to Shekhar, to which he was uncomfortable but wasn’t against…
Want to know what Tara asked?? Read on this nail biting thriller here!!!

Crowning Glory

 Life’s Game

 
June’14, Delhi
 
The Conference hall of Le Meridian, Delhi was packed. Everywhere he turned, Cyrus could see the curious reporters with their microphones, media professionals with their cameras and cheering crowd of crazy fans. Cyrus,  tall, extremely fair in his mid twenties will soon be facing this crowd. He adjusted his collar as he let his eyes wander. He felt suffocated, as if the air was too thin to match the gathering.
 
For such a private person, I sure know how to choose my job, he thought as he pasted a big smile on his face, blinking from the blinding flashe of the cameras assaulted him from all direction. It was his life’s achievement and this day, he was here to be awarded for his passion, but instead of staying here, all he wanted to do was run away and find an exit.
He shook his head at his stupidity.  From today onwards, his life would become public and his face would become familiar to all. There was nothing he could do about it. He looked around the hall and found himself staring at his own face on the posters. There were also the posters of the front cover of his best-seller novel, his pride, ‘The Life’s Game – Destiny Vs Desire.’
 
He adjusted his long legs to become more comfortable, but he couldn’t find the comfort over the huge ruckus around in the conference hall.
 
“One question at a time, please.” His manager who dealt with PR activities and the advertisement of the book shouted over the din and handed the microphone over to Cyrus. Cyrus hesitated for a moment before he took it from his PR manager and waited for the racket to begin.
 
“Here goes nothing,”he thought as he saw a man in his mid-forties stand up with a mike.
“Who is the inspiration for your first book?” ,the man asked.
“My daughter,” Cyrus pulled his lips apart in a wide smile as he said that.
He took a deep breath, but before he could let it out, another person shot a question.
“How did you come up with the title?”
“Life is a game. Every one of us is playing our own part in it. And this book,is related to this game of life. The rules, the mishaps, the victories and failures in the game called Life.” he rubbed his little beard on the chin with a thoughtful look.
He looked lost, as if he was in another dimension. After a minute, he continued, “People play their turns with their desires; whether or not their destiny takes them to their desires, that is the result of this game. And that result, let me tell you, is not always fair. Hence, this title ‘The Life’s Game – Desire Vs Destiny.’” He finished with another one of his quick smile.
 
“Is there a message in the novel that you want to convey to your readers?”
“Yes, of course. This story has a bit of everything that is closely related to life. There is sacrifice, there is betrayal, there is hatred and then there is love. I have tried my best to capture every emotion and nuances of a human mind and heart. It depends on what the readers want to capture.” Cyrus replied and looked around once again.
 
This is never-ending, he sighed, as he adjusted his big, black framed spectacles which were covering his black eyes and stared at a woman who now stood there like she was in a battlefield rather than an air-conditioned hall, ready to question him.
 
“Is the story based on your own experiences or on someone you know?”
Women always have troublesome questions, just like my wife’s. He smiled at the thought of his passionate, fiery wife, who reminded him of a firecracker. He brushed his curly hair with one hand to answer this one.
“Every single story that has ever been written, they have some connection with our own life. A bit here, a bit there, but a connection nonetheless. This one, is close to me and my life.”
“Do you see writing as a career?”
“Yes, may be, my next book will show how a stuffy, smart lawyer can become a writer.” He chuckled and the crowd cheered at his reply.
 
“If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in the story?”
“No. I would not. Somethings are supposed to happen in the way they are meant to and we,should never try to change them,” he replied. He shifted in his chair, twitched his fingers and sighed. He felt as if his lungs were squeezing the air in a hurry.
 
Where is the damn exit when you desperately need one? He wondered as he stared at the endless sea of people surrounding him.
 
“While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters? Did you find it hard to let go of those characters?”
He shifted in his chair, again. He felt uneasy and edgy. “Umm – no.”
And the questions continued. He answered some, ignored some and finally when he couldn’t bear any more, he waved his lean fingers in front of the people.
“I think I have taken more time than what was planned. Thank you for all your cooperation to make this book a huge success.” He bowed like the gentleman he was and left the conference.
It took him an hour to reach his home, and during that one-hour, he was thinking of this new phase in his life. He was excited and had mixed emotions, happy and fearing at the same time. When he knocked the door, his daughter’s giggles greeted him before the door was unlocked. She hugged him and asked him about his day. When they chatted a little bit more, he left her to play and entered his sanctuary.
 
The desk was filled with heaps of papers and pens. His wife would tear him like a used page if she saw the state of his desk, but for now, he ignored it as he slumped on the couch and leaned his head against the headrest.
 
He closed his eyes with a tired breath. He saw a little girl clinging to his leg, crying for her family. He saw a woman patting the little girl, whispering soothing words.
 
How life changes, within the blink of the eye! And then he was lost in thoughts.


Read the next part of the story here- Life’s Game- Chapter 1

 

 

A Caring Hand…

 

First Aid Box. Check. Knife. Check. Spectacle Case. Check.
“Give me the antiseptic bottle, quick”, yelled Nancy. “She must be in pain”, cried Paarvi
Fast band-aid, we don’t have any time to waste.
 
What happened girls? Namita’s question left both of them startled.
.
.
.
.
Ahh, Mom she needs our help, our doll has just fallen from her bed!!
 
(This attempt is dedicated to all those who loved to play those innocent games during childhood which definitely are lost somewhere but are still fresh in our memories.)
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

to Choose or not to Choose

Night, 11 o’ clock

Rajiv could not stop smiling as he entered his room. His heart was thumping hard and his mind was constantly thinking of her. She looked so heavenly beautiful. That black dress was perfectly made for her. She was looking like a goddess that even Snow White’s mirror would have broken after seeing her beauty. He remembered how he could not take off his eyes from her. Her beautiful dark brown curls reaching her waist, the pearl white studs and the necklace enhancing her beauty even more, the black kohl and the shimmering silver shadow on her doe eyes, the pink gloss on her lips, everything was perfect. The sound of the tinkling beads of her rhodium polished sliver bracelet that embraced her soft hands was still echoing in his ears. He thought of it all and how dearly he wanted to hold them.

It was not only her physical beauty that was the charmer but her voice was even more beautiful. She was polite and sophisticated. The way she spoke itself reflected her intelligence and curiosity to know things. She was straightforward but not rude.

He remembered their discussion on each and everything from movies to cricket, from shopping to food, and from politics to places. She could gel up on each topic so easily and even if she was not aware she was trying to be the patient listener. In short she was perfect blend of beauty, intelligence and mannerism. A combination he always had looked in a girl he could call his own.

He thought again and beamed lying on his bed carelessly. Should he meet her one more time? Should he ask for another date? Will she accept it? Is she feeling the same like him.

He introspected and then texted her- “Coffee, tomorrow?”

@ 12:00 a.m.

Pooja heard her cellphone beep as she came out of her bathroom. That was a tiring day, she thought. She picked her phone and saw Rajiv’s message. She jolted for a second; coffee with him? She was still not out of the shock of the blind date she had just few hours back and this message was acting as someone has teased her again on something which had annoyed her the most.

Yes, she had just now returned from a blind date with Rajiv. They met on Facebook and then happened a few chats when they decided to meet. And the meeting day was today. A so sought after and exciting blind date which Pooja always dreamt of turned out to be most boring and among her worst nightmare.

She thought about the place where she went for dinner with him and grinned, “How could a guy choose a place so worse and so crowded for a date? It was looking like a normal Sub kind of restaurant where people come for chit chat usually with friends. And she thought her perfect date would always be something with candle light dinner and peaceful, serene atmosphere”

Not only was the place also Rajiv himself was not appealing. “He came so casually in a T-shirt and Jeans and I was looking over dressed. He seemed to be so careless. He was not even shaved I wonder whether he took bath today or not,” she frowned. She remembered how he was laughing so loud and heavy that it must be echoing in everyone’s ear. The next second she questioned whether she was expecting too much. Boys are like this. Probably, he never cared about his looks.

But then, manners; in the last two hours that she spent with him she was sure that either he was least bothered that he is sitting next to a girl he is dating or he never have taken care and knows anything about how to take care of a girl. She remembered how he banged the door on her head and how he sat first without offering her to sit. Another thing was he never brought her anything. It’s a normal way of greetings that when you meet a person for the first time you should present him or her with something, at least she religiously practices this and hence she has bought a box of Swiss chocolates for him but he came empty handed. It’s not that she was dying for a gift from him but she expected it the most out of her first date, a blind date.

He looked totally different as a person what he used to be during chats; always funny, cracking jokes and on their date he talked on such boring serious issues like politics and sports. He never even noticed that she was silent for long that she was actually bored and he was constantly talking as if he was trying to spell bound her with his over intelligence.

She thought all of this and her shattered dream of a perfect date. She took a deep sigh and thought of answering the message with a big NO but then she thought Some things are better, left unsaid and unanswered. She closed her eyes.

 

From Third Eye-

Was anyone wrong??No. Perhaps, both Pooja and Rajiv were correct in their own perspective.

In this deceptive world it’s very difficult to read what’s going in other’s mind much because we are more lost in our very own realms of thoughts. This is what clearly visible in the two characters of the story. Rajiv was too lost in the beauty and was much excited because he got a perfect date. He got so much into it that he judged the boredom of Pooja as her quality in defining it as a patient listener. As for Pooja, she was expecting Rajiv to be the same always as she finds him in chat and when he acted a bit differently it became her turn off.

Everyone loves beauty and when you get someone who perfectly completes what you thought of was your dream you desire and you crave for it more. Similarly, Humans are bound to expect and even a slightest deviation from the least expectation makes us sometimes to reject and disapprove.

Compatibility is important but who will decide this? A prompt and obvious reply is the person himself/herself.

Then the question arises is one meeting enough to decide whether a person is right choice or not?

Summer and Winter were not supposed to fall in love. But then there are a lot of people in the world. No one ever sees everything the same way you do; it just doesn’t happen. So, when you find one person who gets a couple of things you might as well hold onto them.

But choices have to be made. As rightly said, it is by chance that we met, by choice that we became friends!!

 

The Incomplete Love..

Her phone buzzed, “Coffee at six. Surprise for you”

She dressed elegantly for her first date. They were best friends since childhood and today she will tell him what she feels.

Nervous but anxious, she rehearsed again.

Lost,she came back  from her dreams with his voice, “Hey Meera, meet my love Anjali. Surprised!!!”

P.S- This is my first attempt on flash fiction in just 55 words. Hope you all like it. Suggestions invited.:)