Read the previous part of the story in Chapter 24 Here
Suddenly, Aryan’s iPhone starts ringing …uthe sab ke kadam bolo TARA rum pum pum. It couldn’t have been anybody other than Shekhar who was calling on the only saved number from the iPhone he picked up lying near the dustbin. As Aryan takes the call…Shekhar yells, you!!!!!!! Aryan smiles wickedly, cuts the call, lights up his cigar…his purpose is served!
Here innumerable mails received by Shekhar have baffled Jennifer and Cyrus no end. After days of struggle, they decided to take Cyrus’s friend Tina’s help to crack the source (IP address) of these mails. Jennifer plans to meet Cyrus…
…It is breezy evening, Jennifer hires a Meru cab and heads to the hotel where Cyrus is staying. Laden with her camera bag and Burberry sling, she hops towards the plush city hotel as soon as driver halts the cab. As Jennifer is carrying professional high-end camera, she has to undergo additional security check. Jennifer asks receptionist for room no. 724. She has been directed to the lift for seventh floor. Though she has been to the restaurant of this hotel earlier, but has never been to the rooms. The passage outside the lifts leading to the rooms had aesthetically done up interiors, well-carpeted and walls adorning abstract rare art. Ah! good place to click some pictures but she resisted herself. The selfie is not a bad idea though. Wish, “I was also photogenic like Tara – typical Bong beauty” she sighed. Never mind…selfie? woolfie? Huh!!!
In hearts of hearts, she knew that she was young, charming and go getter to the core. While she was walking in the corridor, she felt someone stepped out of the adjacent lift and started walking in the opposite direction. Suddenly a thought flashed, “Who’s he? Have I seen him anywhere?” She got suspicious. Jennifer shrugged off the thought and moved on …
…She started walking towards the balcony for a puff to stress her mind rather de- stress her mind about this stranger. As she lit the cigarette, it flashed, “Oh yes, I have seen him in the Café other day. Am I being watched? Am I being followed? Who could that be? Who could have put him behind me? Am I being overtly suspicious?” Given the fact that Jennifer is gifted with sharp memory…her memory doesn’t seem to be deceiving her.
Now she was in front of Room no. 724, as she was about to knock, Cyrus opened the door. “I was just stepping out to check for you as it is quite a while that I got a call from hotel reception of your coming”, said Cyrus. Without showing any traces of what she had been through few minutes earlier, Jennifer smiled and said, “Oh I met an old acquaintance in the lobby”.
Parking her stuff on the corner table, she saw Tina cozily parked on the corner couch, “Ah Tina is also here, silk stole and all…looking nice!” Jennifer could sense that Cyrus is uncomfortable about something. Never mind! As Cyrus was ordering coffee and Jennifer’s was checking her mobile, Tina was busy in her own world…as her thoughts were taking 180 degree spin, while giving sharp look to Cyrus. Though she had known Cyrus for many years and they were good friends too but it was not the same evening for her. After spending some time with him in his hotel room, Tina’s world had gone topsy-turvy, she questioned herself, “Why am I finding Cyrus so charming today? Has his chilled-out looks are adding to his charm? Is his unkempt hair giving him that cool look? What is it? Why Cyrus is looking so different or am I thinking too much?
“Hey! Where are you lost? Quipped Cyrus. “Nothing! Said Tina. Now that all three of them were together, Cyrus opened up and shared that inspite of his best of efforts like cracking all possible technical codes, he has not been able to make much headway in the case. He was just there where he had started; status quo remains…may be he needs to be on different track? As goes the saying, “No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back”, Jennifer suggested just that. “I strongly feel that Tara and only Tara can help us here. I am sure she knows Aryan Ahuja, and that too well and is aware of the activities of INSIGNIA as well. But who will bell the cat?”
Jenny’s intelligence amazed Cyrus, he found her quite frank in her admission, considering she was quite friendly with Tara and not just being her subordinate.
After piping hot coffee they decided to move to Tara’s house to take forward their plan of having an informal chit – chat with Tara, while Tina would try digging some facts. In the meantime, Tina moved out of the room to attend a phone call. Excitedly she screamed, “Guys I have great news for you, the mails which both of you have received regarding INSIGNIA’s activities are from the same IP address i.e. Malad. So finally some headway was being made in the case, courtesy Tina.
They were not surprised as both Tara and Aryan lived in the same locality i.e. Malad. This firmed their belief that Tara knows Aryan and not just because of his association with INSIGNIA but they had a personal connect too.
But hiding such hideous facts could lead to such great damage to the country. Can she betray her countrymen? How could a woman so professional, upright, wife, mother, and a daughter would not reveal the truth?
Unknowingly (or Knowingly?) , Tara was involved in INSIGNIA, though she had some cues that it could be an outfit which is involved in some kind of anti-social activities and Aryan is heavily into it. Her heart was just not accepting that. Could Aryan be involved with any outfit like INSIGNIA, though she knew that he is a power hungry guy? Cursorily, Aryan had mentioned to Tara, “Think big, think beyond your job in a publishing house…something really BIG”. His offer had put Tara in a turmoil, here on one hand was a great career opportunity and on the other hand, a happy family life (Happy? Oh really??).
All this while, Aryan was hoping against hope that Tara says yes to his proposal as it will serve both his purposes, to win back Tara, personally and professionally Tara could be the stepping stone towards the confidential documents which were in Shekhar’s possession on INSIGNIA.
But that was not to be…So Aryan planned to reverse his revenge by trapping Shekhar, hence these mails to Shekhar over which he was scratching his head no end? Will Tara admit of knowing INSIGNIA and its head honcho Aryan? Will Tara accept Aryan’s invitation of thinking big? Will Tara give her friendship a new dimension by making some disclosures? Will Tara prove a good wife by saving Shekhar falling into this trap?
Here in hotel lobby, in an animated conversation, Jennifer and Tina were discussing INSIGNIA, whereas Cyrus was about to join them soon. Suddenly a horrified Cyrus came down running from the staircase and shouted, “Breaking News…there… there on TV, Bomb blast in the city, and it looks bomb exploded near a dustbin near a Cafe in the vicinity of Media tower.” The news created furor in the lobby and havoc in the lives of Jennifer and Cyrus…they cried in utter disbelief Aryan!!!!!!
Shekhar Dutta is dead!!!
Who was privy to very pertinent information on INSIGNIA, and custodian to very confidential documents on it’s the activities.
Cyrus & Jennifer are shocked!!!
Tara is devastated!!!
Aryan is ecstatic!!!!
Another feather in his cap, mission accomplished to take his revenge.
His path was clear towards Tara… or was it something else?
Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ Blogadda #celebrate Blogging
Read next part of the story Chapter 26 Here
– Bienu Verma Vaghela