Did he say Yes?
#What'sThatSmellBoss? - The post that helped me win some cool vouchers from Racold - IndiBlogger.

Duplicity - Chapter 8

Team: Writers’ Express

Read the previous part of the story here.


When Tara realised that Cyrus was not at home in the morning, she was pleasantly surprised. She realised her behaviour was rather rude. She should have controlled herself since Roohi was around. She also felt bad that she didn't even offer him dinner the previous night. Shekhar was right, it was so unlike her.

It was a pleasant Sunday and she decided not to spoil anyone's mood. Also, she needed to be in a perfect state of mind to do what she had decided for the day.

Shekhar's phone beeped with an SMS from Cyrus - Sorry bhaiya for all the trouble. But I am meeting a broker in a while and will move to a new place soon. I don't want to upset bhabhi. I will reach home after dinner.

Shekhar was not happy with all the drama in the house. Yet, when he saw Roohi hopeful of an exciting day ahead, he decided to not raise the issue. He tried his best not to taunt Tara. Yet he framed his sentence wrong.

"Hey sunshine, someone must be so happy today! Cyrus will not be home until late night," Shekhar realised his mistake immediately.

Tara heard him but, as decided, she kept her cool. Shekhar was surprised that she didn't retaliate the way she ideally did when being taunted. He liked to tease and taunt her at times.

"Don’t you ‘hey-sunshine’ me all the time idiot, I don't want to spoil the day. Say it one more time and then you see," said Tara.

Shekhar was relieved to see her reaction, she was her normal self and that was good enough for the day. He looked forward to watching the new Disney movie, as he had promised Roohi, and having a wonderful family day ahead.

Tara however had some other plans and she most definitely did not want to discuss those with Shekhar.

"Papa, when are we going for the movie?" asked Roohi as she saw Shekhar working on his laptop.

"Wait Roohi, let me book the tickets first. I am just doing that."

It was one of those days Roohi loved the most. Tara used to be at office until late everyday. However, almost every Sunday, Tara spent the entire day with her. Brunches, movies, games, malls, gifts, ice creams and sometimes even a picnic at a water park or beach, there was nothing else Roohi could have asked for.

Shekhar turned to Tara who was busy reading the newspaper, "Tara, is the 11 am show okay with you? We can have lunch after that."

Tara quickly kept the newspaper on the table and picked her laptop.

"Er... I am so sorry, I totally forgot to tell you last night. I have an urgent media plan to work on. It must reach the client by 1 today. Why don't you both watch the movie first? I will directly join you for lunch," she said trying to look busy.

Roohi sounded disappointed, "But mom, today is Sunday!"

Tara knew how to handle such situations.

"Roohi beta, I want to watch the movie too, but what to do? Work is also important, right? I promise we will have your favourite ice cream and also have a lot of fun later. Just watch the movie with Papa and I will join you for lunch. I promise."

Tara hated lying to Roohi. But this time she had to. She was planning to check out Cyrus' backpack to gather some piece of information strong enough to convince Shekhar that he must not stay with them. Also, she hated those animated movies. So she was glad to stay back at home alone. She just hoped  that the movie tickets were available.

"Alright Roohi, the movie is booked! Today Papa and Roohi will watch an awesome movie together and have caramel popcorn too. Let mom do all the boring work," said Shekhar ensuring that Roohi feels better.

But more than Roohi, Tara was happy.

While everyone was away, Tara went through Cyrus' stuff in his backpack. Apart from the regular things, there was a pen drive. She immediately copied its contents in her laptop and kept it in the backpack again.

A curious Tara, hoping to find something against Cyrus, was shocked to see the jpeg images. There were just three photographs.

The first one was of two girls, probably in their early twenties.

The second was of a dark place, a garage, a deserted house, maybe a small godown.

The third one was of a woman's body lying in a pool of blood on the floor. She was perhaps at the same place that was in the second photo. The light was low. The face was not visible as the photo was clicked from behind the girl.

Tara started trembling. Her heart started racing. She somehow managed to go through his backpack again hoping to find some more information.

She found a visiting card of someone called Jennifer Joseph, photographer.


Me and my team are participating in the Game of Blogs at Blogadda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.
Chapter 1: Pawan Hegde | Chapter 2: Partha Sadhukhan | Chapter 3: Sujata Tawde | Chapter 4: Shilpa Halwe | Chapter 5: Manjulika Pramod | Chapter 6: Shazneen Pathak | Chapter 7: Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli | Chapter 8: Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli

Duplicity - Chapter 7

Team: Writers’ Express

Read the previous part of the story here.
Jennifer was worried. Ever since Maya told her about the guy who was not returning her calls, things were getting weird. Maya was adamant about Jennifer accompanying her to Delhi the very next day, no questions asked. Jennifer agreed simply because she did not want to leave a depressed Maya alone.

She decided to stay over at Maya's place since they had to catch an early morning direct flight to New Delhi. She could not understand the urgency. When she reached there, she could not believe that Maya was still crying.

"C'mon Maya, tell me what's the matter. You will feel better."

"Jenny please, please don't ask me anything now. I will tell you once we reach Delhi. I am in no position to talk. I need to do some thinking. Please understand."

"But tell me something at least. Is that guy meeting you there? Is it about confronting him? Why are you giving him so much importance..."

"Jenny please... not now," Maya insisted as she went on crying.

Jennifer realised the time was not right. She gave Maya a hug and started helping her with the packing. She could not stop thinking. Maya was a pretty girl and had had a few boyfriends in the past. She was smart and practical. She had had her set of breakups, mostly from her end, but she was not an emotional fool. What was with this guy who she had met just once, or maybe twice! Why did he make her drink so much the other day. Did he do something wrong to her? Jennifer decided to make Maya tell her everything once they reached Delhi.

They landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 10.30 am. It was quite cold and since it was a last minute plan, it had not occurred to them to carry warm clothes. They headed to book a prepaid cab to Rajouri Garden. The friendly person at the counter greeted them with a smile and explained to them that since the city was covered in a blanket of fog, it might take them a little longer than usual to reach but they need not worry.

As they collected their booking slip, Jennifer overheard the person talking to his colleague, "It's strange how the previous two bookings also were for Rajouri..."

Jennifer, who was a perfectionist, was glad that she had booked a hotel along with the flight tickets. Maya did not speak a word on their way to the hotel. As the cab passed Rajouri's main market area, Jennifer found it interesting that people were already relishing street food despite the cold weather and it was not even noon. The aroma of chaat, paranthas and chole bhature filled the air. However, Maya, who was a complete foodie and never missed any chance to eat junk food didn't notice a thing. She was lost in her own thoughts.

As soon as they checked in, Maya made a call.

"Hello, I have reached Rajouri Garden," said Maya.

"But you had promised. That's why I came to Delhi as soon as I can..."

There was a long pause. Jennifer tried to hear all that she could and figured out that whatever the person on the other end was saying was powerful enough to have a strong effect on Maya.

"Of course, I have come alone... Okay text me the address and I will reach by 1.30."

Even before Jennifer could ask anything, Maya started speaking to her.

"See Jenny, I had to lie. It's a long story but I will tell you the important thing right now as I have to be somewhere in an hour."

Jennifer insisted, "No Maya, you are telling me everything right now. And you are not going anywhere alone. You have not had anything since morning and I am not letting you starve anymore. Let me order some food first and then tell me everything."

After Jennifer placed the order and asked the room service to deliver as soon as they could, Maya told her everything, or so she thought.

"So this guy I met at the wedding, Varun, we had a great time. It was love at first sight, for both of us. I think I drank too much, then we went to my place..."

"Love at first sight, my foot! Maya, how many times have I told you not to indulge in...," Jennifer tried to interrupt.

Maya had no time to listen to her lecture, "I know, I am sorry, but hear me out for now. Nothing happened. We spoke all night. Varun was drunk too and he was talking a lot... almost all night! I think he told me things he shouldn't have and later he regretted."
Jennifer interrupted again, "Things, what things?"

"About how he is doing things he should not. He has taken a path that has no way out. There is this person he has to answer, who gives him orders, and now since Varun knows too much he just can't get out of it."

Maya continued, "So in the morning when he gained his senses he was mad at himself. He kept asking me how much he told me but did not believe me. He said that perhaps I am not telling him everything. After that we spoke over the phone for two days. He did say he loves me but also kept insisting that I must not to reveal his information to anyone."

There was a knock on the door that startled Maya. Jennifer told her it was just room service delivering lunch. After the room service guy left the food and crockery on the table, Maya looked at the watch.

"Oh God, I am so late. I have to go now Jenny."

"What? Are you crazy? Why do you have to meet that guy? Get this straight - he doesn't love you. In fact, he seems very dangerous. Have some food, tell me everything and I am coming with you if you must go. In any case, you had to reach by half past one and it's already 1 pm. You are late already, so better finish what's important."

"No Jenny. He is meeting me here at Rajouri Garden itself. It's close by, I have the address. I must go."

Jennifer made her have some paranthas and kept on probing. While they were having lunch, Maya told her some more things... things that were enough to give her goose bumps.

Maya left in a jiffy without telling Jennifer the name of the person who Varun said he reported to. But Jennifer managed to make Maya forward the address of the meeting place to her.
After Maya left, Jenny looked at the address carefully. It was a bungalow. Jennifer was mad at Maya for not meeting this person at a public place. She dialled her number immediately, but it was busy for over twenty minutes. After that, the phone was switched off.

It was 7 pm and there was  no sign of Maya. Jennifer had tried her number all through the day but her phone was still switched off. She looked up the address on Google maps, but apparently there was no YC Block in Rajouri Garden. She thought maybe it was not listed and inquired at the reception. They said there was no YC block in that area. Jennifer was worried sick.

She went through all the news channels to see if there was any news of any accident, hoping there wasn't. She went through Maya's social media pages as well, but there was no post, no tweet... nothing.

When the room service guy came to ask her if she wanted to place the order for dinner, she inquired with him too. All he said was, "Madam, times are not very good here. Women should not travel alone in an unknown city."

Jennifer, who hated such statements about women, didn't say a word to him. She decided to stay calm and called the one person she knew in Delhi.

Read the next part of the story here.

Me and my team are participating in the Game of Blogs at Blogadda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.

Chapter 1: Pawan Hegde | Chapter 2: Partha Sadhukhan | Chapter 3: Sujata Tawde | Chapter 4: Shilpa Halwe | Chapter 5: Manjulika Pramod | Chapter 6: Shazneen Pathak | Chapter 7: Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli | Chapter 8: Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli  

Celebrating Blogging with Game of Blogs: Duplicity!

Chapter 1: Pawan Hegde | Chapter 2: Partha Sadhukhan | Chapter 3: Sujata Tawde | Chapter 4: Shilpa Halwe | Chapter 5: Manjulika Pramod | Chapter 6: Shazneen Pathak | Chapter 7: Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli | Chapter 8: Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli

There is so much excitement write now... I mean right now ;)

I am participating in Game of Blogs (#CelebrateBlogging), an interesting collaborative story writing initiative on Blogadda. Random teams are created by Blogadda and we weave a story together with our team members. The interesting bit is that every team will work around common characters provided to us! So it will be exciting to see how a particular character will have different roles in each story.

There are lots of rules and, of course, eliminations over three rounds and three weeks. An excellent jury makes it all the more exciting!

I am glad to have a wonderful team of bloggers as we craft our story - Duplicity.

Our team - Writers' Express

Our story follows after this post and we will be sharing the links on Social Media as well. Do read and we hope you like it!

Filing Returns or Returning Files?

It occurred to me
while watching X-Files

I had sent him some
very important files

So I called the tax guy
who was all smiles

As I said with confidence,
"Return my files, return my files!"

The redundant Delhi vs Mumbai argument

As a kid, Delhi was my summer vacation destination. When we were in school, at least once during our Delhi stay, the Mumbai vs Delhi argument would come up. I and my brother used to defend Mumbai (then Bombay) like how -
"We get tasty Vada Pav in Bombay."
"We have so many local trains."

READ the full post here.

When life gives you lemons

My version of the phrase is: When life gives you lemons, just take them. Lemons are pretty expensive now. Yesterday, I went veggie shopping and the vendor quoted INR 5 for one tiny lemon. Seriously? Really unfair this summer. Talk about lemonade!

But on a serious note, the phrase really guides us in tough times. Look at the amazing people who did so well despite the lemons life threw at them and I bet you'll be so inspired:
Ludwig van Beethoven: Who hasn't heard the German composer and pianist! 

Phone number

Did anyone ever ask you for your phone number?

Did you give your phone number to someone?

What? To all the people listed in your contacts?

Then, when you have given your phone number, how come you still have that number?

*Running away at full speed ; )

PS: This PJ post is specially written as part of my participation in April A to Z Challenge 2014.
I am also participating in the challenge with my photoblog. Check out all the action on Photopunti

Newton's third law does not work. How?

So Newton said, "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction."

Action: Wife started speaking to her husband.

Reaction: NIL

N: This PJ post is specially written as part of my participation in April A to Z Challenge 2014.
I am also participating in the challenge with my photoblog. Check out all the action on Photopunti

The last local

It was late at night and she had boarded the last local. She got in the ladies compartment even though it was unoccupied as she saw a policeman in the compartment. Good, or so she thought.

The policeman came and sat a little away from her. She took the window seat and he took the aisle seat. She looked scared as she unknowingly covered her mouth and nose with her hand. She was thinking a lot. She looked scared. It seemed she couldn't breathe.

The policeman glanced at her a few times. She tried to look outside while staying alert at the same time.

There was a long disturbing silence. Finally, after two stations, he policeman spoke.

"Any problem madam?"