Hello lovely friends, my sincere thanks for all your love and support all this while. So here is the next chapter, hope u will like it pls do tell how it was. Love u all, Enjoy ???
Chapter 18 – Blast From The Past
Sam went to her mom’s room and saw her sitting on the bed with head leaning on the headboard, Piyali had shifted to another room. Sam knew this was a difficult time for her mother and took time to spend with her offering her, her shoulder. Sam climbed on the bed and rested her head on her lap. Piyali lovingly patted her head and asked her what was wrong. “are u going to divorce dad?”
Piyali gave out a sad sigh “I honestly don’t know what to do… I talked to my lawyer and she gave me some advice but I haven’t made a decision yet… Arjun came by the office the other day to apologize on the behalf of his sister”
Sam:“yes… I talked to him too… he didn’t know anything before… am glad I have cleared the air with him… and its all thanks to Radhika”
Piyali:“oh yeah… Radhika… how is she?…I completely forgot about her”
Sam: “she is fine now… she resumed work yesterday…. and her mom and grandpa are also here… her grandpa is really funny”
Piyali: “is that so….I didn’t know that…I will pay Mala a visit tomorrow”
Prena was happy to have her son back home and was happier to see how happy her son was. Being a single mother, away from home and familiar faces and to be able to raise such good of a man was no less than a miracle. Prena was proud of what Neil had become. It wasn’t easy but it all paid off in the end.
One of Prena’s old friend Yukta who now lives in Australia had visited London and was visiting Prena today. The tall woman dressed in a lime green sari, red hot lipstick and her red hair chopped in a short bob looked like a crazy reality TV mom or a woman on her mid life crisis, but she was Prena’s best friend. Prena and Yukta have known each other from their childhood days and loved each other a lot. The two old friends sitting in the living room of Prena and Neil’s apartment were chatting and gossiping about everything. They talked about their school day’s to their marriages to their children and work. They caught up with all the time they were apart.
Neil returned home from work in the evening and greeted his mom and friend, Yukta who was so excited to see him hugged him tight surprising him “do u remember me?.. of course how can u… I left when u were small boy… am your mom’s best friend… Yukta” she turned to Prena “he is more handsome than the pictures” She again turned to Neil “your mom is so proud of what u have become… keep making her proud… She has gone through a lot for u… am so glad u didn’t turn out like your father… he was a bastard”
Prena immediately stopped her from talking further and Neil was dumbfounded by the sudden revelation. As far as he knew his father was a good man, he was businessman who died in an accident before he was born or at least that’s what his mom told him, then why this woman who claims to be his mom’s best friend saying that his father was a bastard? He looked at his mom with questioning eyes but Prena was as taken aback as he was.
Yukta looked at Neil then at Prena “u didn’t tell him… u didn’t tell him the truth about his father…?” she asked stuffing Neil’s head with more questions, she again looked at Neil “am sorry… I didn’t mean to… I just assumed u knew the truth” she picked up her bright pink handbag and left the apartment.
Prena knew this day will come, that she would one day have to tell him the truth but she was never able to prepare herself. Neil looked at his mom “tell me the truth… I can handle it”
Prena sighed and sat on the couch opposite to him “your father was a criminal… I didn’t know the truth about him when I married him… we met when I was just 18, we fell in love and wished to get married… my family didn’t approve of the marriage so we eloped… I trusted him,I thought he was a good man… after few months of our marriage I noticed changes in him… he didn’t have a stable job but we were never short on money… I would suspect him but then later discard my suspicions… until one day when he came home drenched in blood and a gun in his hand… I cornered him and he admitted to the truth… smuggling, murder were his jobs… I was terrified”
Prena’s tears now found their way on her face “I was 3 weeks pregnant then… I tried reasoning with him, begging him to leave that life for your sake… for our child’s sake… he agreed and I thought things will change… two days later he was arrested… he had killed a police officer’s wife after he promised me he will leave his criminal life behind… I knew I had to take drastic measure if I want my child to be safe… Yukta was studying in London then… with her help I came to London… and u know the rest”
The mother son were in tears, Prena was inconsolable. She kept asking for his forgiveness for hiding the truth. Neil hugged her mother assuring her that he was not angry with her and if there is anything he should thank her for thinking so much about him. Prena wiped her tears “and Malhotra is my maiden name”
Neil chuckled sadly “well I like Malhotra… It suits me… I always knew my mom was strong but today I found out she is a superwoman… It takes a lot of guts to do what u did and am proud of u mom” Prena lightly laughed hearing his comforting words “what happened to him then… is he still in jail… is he alive…?”
Prena: “he died….I saw in the news that he died while trying to escape from jail… I didn’t want u to know about him bcoz I didn’t want u to go through what I went through… I made a mistake falling in love with him… I was not going to make another mistake by letting u grow up in that atmosphere”
Neil still had to get his head wrapped around all the information that was just revealed to him, it all felt like a weird dream that will break any time soon but that was not the case, everything he thought he knew about his life was all a lie. He had nothing against his mom, he understood her reason but to live with this new fact in his life was something he needed to learn to get used to “don’t feel bad but….what was my father’s real name”
Prena:“it’s your right to know son… Vijay… Vijay Kumar”
Arjun came back home from work and found Nandini packing her suitcases, Arjun puzzled by the sight asked “are u going somewhere Nandu?”
Nandini smiled “yes… I was offered a job in a fashion magazine in Singapore… I took it, am leaving tomorrrow morning”
Arjun:”Singapore?… u can join birdsong… is this bcoz of what happened?”
Nandini:”have u forgiven me for what I did” Seeing him out of words Nandini continued “I know if I was not your sister u wouldn’t have even looked at me for what I did… that’s why I need to go away… I need to give u all time and give myself space… I need to learn how to live with myself after what I did”
Nandini cupped his face “am not going forever… I will come back for my brother… do u think I will miss yours and Radhika’s wedding… and Singapore is just few hours away”
Arjun heavy heartedly agreed and hugged his sister wishing her all the very best in her life not before taking a promise from her that she will talk to him everyday.
Aditya has been haunted by the nagging feeling that he knows something about Vijay Kumar but just could remember how. He was absolutely sure that he had read or heard that name from somewhere, he had been trying to remember the connection for the whole week but couldn’t find any. Aditya was one of those people that once they had set their eyes on a puzzle they can’t fall asleep until they have solved it. Their search wasn’t bearing any fruits, there were absolutely no records of Vijay Kumar anywhere, he sometime wondered if he was a ghost.
Just like every night since he found out about the mystery man, Aditya woke up in the middle of the night with the name Vijay Kumar ringing in his head, this name was haunting him even in his dreams. He sat on his bed exasperated at his memory that played tricks with him and covered his face with both his hands. Then just like the way lightning strikes, the light bulb on top of his head went on, he raised his head from his hands stunned and excited at the same time at what his mind just recalled.
He trod to the far corner of his room and pulled out the a drawer of the small metal cabinet and scattered the files in it until he saw the desired file. With his heart thudding against his chest he opened the blue file and read the content to confirmed his doubt. There it was Vijay Kumar written in several pages, he pulled a chair and sat down for his feet were going to give up soon from the shock he just got.
Sometime later when he had calmed down a bit he took his phone and called Karthik, he was so eager to share the news with him that he forgot it was late at night. Karthik answered the phone after several rings and Aditya didn’t waste anytime “Vijay… Vijay Kumar… I remembered…”
Karthik in his sleepy voice “Adi it’s 2 in the morning… we will talk tomorrow”
Aditya:“its Saba… Saba”
Karthik:“are u sleep calling?”
Aditya:“dude listen to me… Vijay Kumar is non other but Saba the smuggler… I read that in his file… Saba was his criminal name, his alias… but his real name is Vijay Kumar… Saba’s picture in the file matches Vijay Kumar’s picture… he just looks younger in this one… Saba is not dead… and he is the mystery man… Saba is Vijay Kumar… Vijay Kumar is Saba”
Karthik jerked off the bed, sleep flew away from his head, Aditya’s words replaying in his mind “this sh*t just got real” he said in disbelief, his voice firm and his mind full of questions “am coming over”
Aditya:“dude… Its 2 in the morning… we will talk tomorrow” teased Aditya, he knew well Karthik won’t be able to sleep now just like him.
Karthik:“u have already screwed my sleep …so f**k this night am coming over… u get whiskey or coffee ready… or both… Argh!… f**k these criminals” he cursed frustrated. Aditya ended the call laughing at his friends outburst and went to prepare coffee.
Karthik put Saba’s file down on the dining table and casually spoke “this is quite an interesting story… small thief turned local goon turned smuggler… his story got everything to make a blockbuster movie… he was married so there is romance… prison break, two fake deaths so there is drama… he turned himself into a gardener so there is comedy… and am going to shoot him in his butt when I catch him and that will be a tragedy… what do u think?”
Aditya:“no more coffee for u, that’s what I think” he picked up the empty coffee mugs and dumped them in the kitchen sink “something is amiss here… I took this file two years ago when I first found out about the case from Samrat… If I was able to find his records then why couldn’t we find them now?” Then they both looked at each other in realisation and screamed in unison “Somebody must have removed his records from the system”
Radhika woke up earlier than usual, she always wakes up late during the weekends but today she couldn’t just sleep more. Her mom and grandpa were already back in Rishikesh so she had no one to talk to and she thought Aditya was still asleep.She laid on her bed watching the ceiling thinking about nothing in particular, she had played games in her phone, watched funny videos but time was just not moving fast enough for her. She took her notebook out that Arjun had returned to her but words, ideas were far from her mind, she was simply, utterly and completely bored and it was just 6 in the morning. She went through her phone contacts looking for someone to irritate this early Sunday morning but then discarded her idea. She decided to organize her already organized closet, she was going through her clothes when her phone beeped indicating an email that she received “finally some excitement” she mumbled.
She walked to her bed and unlocked her phone, she didn’t recognize the email id but the name of the sender was familiar. Neha, her college friend and roommate, Neha had changed her email address “no wonder I couldn’t get a hold her” she said and quickly opened the email.
Where are u? I hope u are still alive. I had lost your contacts just today found my old diary that had your email address. I miss u like hell, am getting wrinkles thinking about u. Girl don’t do this to me don’t u know how expensive botox is? Reply asap.
PS:I received a parcel, it’s for u and it’s from your father.
Radhika blinked and read that last line again and again wanting to make sure that she read right. A parcel, for her, from her father. It all seemed like a stupid bad joke but it wasn’t, she read the words right. She immediately replied asking about the parcel with her heart pounding and hands trembling.
Karthik:”do u know what this means… he has connection with the police… this will make our job even harder”
Aditya:”or easier… the inspector who was incharge with Saba’s case is not doubt involved… he stated in his report that Saba was shot dead in the raid… which is a lie”
Karthik:”and it can’t be a case of a mistaken identity bcoz he claimed to have identified Saba’s dead body… who was the inspector? … if we get him then we got Saba”
Aditya took the police report from the file and read the name of the inspector who signed on the report “ACP Suraj Mishra”
Karthik saw that Aditya was suddenly in deep thoughts “don’t tell me this name also sounds familiar to u”
Aditya:”Radhika’s uncle was also in the police and he is also a Suraj”
Karthik:”are u implying that he had a hand in his own brother’s murder?”
Aditya:”he was my first suspect… but since he had a strong alibi I couldn’t do anything… but with what Radhika told me about him I won’t be surprised if he turns out to be Dilip’s murderer… still we need to cross check”
“Bhai…” Radhika walked up to the Aditya and Karthik, she was still trembling from the news she has got “papa…”
Both Aditya and Karthik were shocked to see her that way, Aditya made her sit and gave her water to calm her “what it is Radhika… what happened that made u like this…?” Radhika showed him the email she received from her friend Neha.
Aditya was as shocked as Radhika was after reading the email and passed the phone to Karthik so that he could read as well. They all looked at each other without uttering a word, they were shocked, confused and flabbergasted. Radhika broke the silence “does this mean papa is alive?”
“let’s not get ahead of ourselves” chimed in Aditya “we all want that to be true… but let’s wait until your friend replies”
Minutes passed in silence waiting for Neha’s reply, everyone had their on thoughts about the matter. Karthik was refreshing the phone every two minutes and after 15 minutes of torturing silence Radhika spoke “I can’t sit like this… this silence is killing my nerves… am going to make coffee anybody want any?” Karthik wanted coffee but Aditya prohibited him for he had already drank four mugs since he came to the apartment. Karthik frowned but his frown magically vanished when Neha’s email beeped in Radhika’s phone. “what has she said?” asked Radhika.
Karthik who had Radhika’s phone answered “she sent u her phone number”
Aditya:”call her and asked her about the parcel”
Radhika dialed the number and put the phone on speaker, her legs where shaky as she waited for the phone to connect. Neha answered the phone in just one ring “hello… ”
Radhika:”hello Neha… it’s me Radhika”
Neha squeled in happiness over the phone for a good thirty seconds “OMG… OMG… OMG… I can’t believe it… I finally found u… I missed u so much my girl…. why did u disappear”
Radhika wanted to scream excited as well, she had also missed her friend but the matter at hand compelled her to be serious “Neha, that parcel u said u have…”
Neha:”or so u only called bcoz of that… u didn’t miss me?… I will not talk to u then… yes, I was the one who lost contact but couldn’t u look for me?”
Radhika:”Neha listen to me…. ”
Neha:”No, u listen to me… here I was feeling bad losing your contacts… and u are not even bothered to know how I am… I will never talk to u again”
Radhika now with firm voice “listen to me Neha… u know my father has been dead for two years now and u said u received a parcel from him… what do u think that kind of news will do to me… so please tell me about that parcel and we can talk about everything else later… please”
Neha understood the situation “sorry I scared u girl… yes I have a parcel here for u and it’s from your dad… and in that I found a letter that instructs me to hand over the parcel to u… your father had sent this parcel to my house in my name two years ago but that time we were in college… my stupid of a brother who had received the parcel forgot all about it… It was not until a month ago when he was cleaning his room that he found the parcel and gave it to me”
Radhika:”what’s in that parcel?”
Neha:”there was a letter written to me and there is a box addressed to u… I haven’t opened that box… do u want me to send it to your home in Rishikesh?”
Radhika:”NO… I am not in Rishikesh am in Mumbai… I will give u an address to send that parcel to… and I will call u sometime later Neha”
Neha:”even if u won’t I will call u, now that I have your number… we have a lot to talk about… Bye”
Some silence befell again among them, it was obvious that Dilip Mishra was more intelligent that any of them had expected and now even though dead he has provided them with possibly a valuable piece of evidence. Aditya breaking the silence “if Dilip took so much trouble for that parcel… then it contains something very crucial… that he didn’t want to fall in the wrong hands”
Karthik:”that parcel contains information about the gold… like where he found it or who had that might have killed him or even where the gold is now”
Radhika though would have loved that her thoughts were right and that her father was still alive was happy that they got some information on the gold and possibly about her father’s murderer that they can finally put to justice.
Aditya and Karthik discussed about the parcel and how to safely get their hands on it, they knew once they had the gold Saba or whoever is after that gold will have to come out no matter what. Karthik signaled Aditya to ask her about her uncle, Aditya cleared his throat and began “Radhika… do u have anything… any document that has your uncle’s writings or signature…”
Radhika was stunned by the question “no I don’t… but I can recognize his handwriting… why do u need it any way?” Aditya didn’t answer instead he gave her the report and asked her if it was her uncle’s handwriting and Radhika confirmed “yes this is his handwriting”
Aditya:”are u sure….. are u absolutely sure…?”
Radhika:”yes am sure…am 100% sure, this is his signature… he always signs like this… what is this all about?”
Aditya snatched the paper from her “nothing important… just old cases we were using for references… why don’t u make breakfast for us… please” Radhika nodded and went to the kitchen. Karthik and Aditya silently looked at each other, victory twinkling in their eyes, they had just cracked the case open.
Credit to: Gianna