Wednesday 24 September 2014

Memory Intrigues (Chapter 17)

                                                  The logo of our team is designed by Ruchita

This is the 17th chapter of the mysteriously riveting story "Memory Intrigues". This novel is being written by "Dynamic Wordweavers" for the Game of Blogs organized by Blogadda #CelebrateBlogging

You can read the previous chapter here or follow our facebook page to read all the chapters here

The story so far:
Shekhar comes back to his laptop, curious to know what is in the memory card. The card demands a password.
“Please type the password to open the file” flashes the computer screen.  How would he know the password!!! he wonders. 
He tries to type in a combination of his birthday, first name, last name, the customary way for credit card statements; he tries various permutations and combinations of the same. He tries to call the courier office to find out the sender’s name but is unable to get any proper response.  He tries to read the address himself but the efforts bring no results.
Seeing her dad confused, Roohi says “Dad if you are not too busy, do you mind making some ‘Maggi’ for me?  I would prefer it not to be black this time!!”
Laughing at his daughter’s wit, Shekhar moves to the kitchen hoping to make good noodles this time.
Tara hums the melodious tune of a Jennifer Lopez song on her way back home.   She feels good about her life, her work, her new friend, Cyrus and her family too.   She recalls the line of many celebrities whom she has interviewed, “Change is the spice of life.”
How true!   She ponders over the enigma called change.  A different job, a fresh ambience and a new friend has thankfully eradicated the harrowing monotony in her life.   She feels so good to have resigned her job at 24X7.   The editor and sub-editor of that channel were megalomaniacs with no respect for others.
“I should have done that much earlier. Anyways, better late than never”, Tara mutters as she climbs up the stairs to her flat.   She feels blessed to have found a new job within just a day of her resignation.   She rings the bell and Roohi opens the door without a word.
“Hi baby!  Why are you looking so depressed?” Tara says looking at Roohi’s bleak face.  Roohi does not respond and walks straight back to her room.
“Shekhar, what’s wrong with Roohi?” Tara looks at Shekhar who is sitting in front of his laptop with a befuddled expression.
Can’t you see I am busy with some work, Tara?  Please ask Roohi what the matter is.” Shekhar goes totally beserk.   He has been trying to guess the password of the memory card since over three hours but to no avail.   He is miffed at himself for his inability and this only adds to his desperation to know about the contents of the card.   Something tells him that it is surely related to Jennifer.   He assumes that the memory card contains the photograph that Jennifer was talking about.   This conjecture only heightens his anxiety.  It is while he was cooking ‘Maggi’ for little Roohi that this thought passed his mind. The result was awful tasting ‘Maggi’ of which Roohi could not eat even a morsel.   They were not burned like earlier, but were completely tasteless.

                                                             (Source: Google images)

          Tara runs to Roohi’s room after getting such an unresponsive reply from Shekhar.
“What happened Roohi?  Why are you not talking to mom?” Tara asks, pinching Roohi’s soft baby cheeks.
I am hungry.  My stomach is growling” Roohi says softly.
“Did you not tell your dad that you are hungry?” Tara embraces Roohi, feeling dismayed.
Dad made ‘Maggi’ for me.  But… Roohi pauses.
“What?  Did he give you black noodles to eat again?” Tara says angrily.
No, not black but they tasted so bad.  I couldn’t eat more than a spoon” Roohi says.
“Just give your mom ten minutes.   I am making delicious cheese sandwiches for you” Tara says in a disheartened tone, feeling bad that her little girl has had to stay hungry.
Tara goes to the kitchen without changing her clothes and makes sandwiches within a couple of minutes.  A delighted smile lights up Roohi’s face as she happily wolfs down the meal prepared by her mom.
Tara finally changes her clothes and prepares dinner.  She does not want to indulge in a heated argument with Shekhar.  So she tries to keep calm and thinks about her new office.  She thinks of ways to impress her new boss.
When dinner is ready, she calls Shekhar.
I am not in a mood to eat” Shekhar says, irking Tara further.
“What the hell is wrong with you? You cooked awful ‘Maggi’ for Roohi, you didn’t care that our little girl was hungry and now when your wife is serving you dinner, you say you are not in a mood to eat.  You are pathetic” Tara loses her calm.
I am stressed Tara. Try to understand” Shekhar says looking at his flustered wife.
“You work from home, have flexible working hours and yet you are stressed. If you ever have to step into my shoes, you couldn’t have walked for even a mile” Tara says and leaves Shekhar to his own devices.
Tara goes to bed early after having dinner with Roohi.  She feels Shekhar’s presence, sitting beside her but she does not feel like asking him why he is so restless.  Shekhar assumes that Tara has fallen asleep. He dials a number after studying his contact list for half an hour.
“Hello Sylvia” Shekhar says.
Who is it?” a female voice asks.
“This is Shekhar, Jennifer’s friend, if you remember. I am so sorry for calling you at this hour of night but trust me; I desperately need your help.  It is about Jennifer” Shekhar says in one breath.
Sylvia is like family to Jennifer and stays close to her house.  Shekhar has met Sylvia many times, so he thinks of asking her about Jennifer.
Of course I remember you Shekhar.  Tell me, what’s wrong?” Sylvia asks.
“Do you know that Jennifer is missing since a couple of days?” Shekhar asks.
Yeah I have seen the news.  I am deeply worried for her.”
“Do you have any idea where she could be right now?” Shekhar intrudes.
She has a couple of photographer friends in Delhi and was going to attend the Delhi photography festival within some days.  So perhaps she could be there.  This is just my guess” the girl says, feebly.
“Delhi?  Okay, thanks dear.  One more thing, I have received a memory card via courier today.  My gut instinct tells me that it is sent by Jenny and it has something to do with the photograph that she had clicked.  But it demands a password and I don’t have any clue.  Has Jenny told you about any such memory card?” Shekhar asks, hoping to get some positive answer.
I don’t have knowledge of any such thing, Shekhar”.
Shekhar thanks her and disconnects the phone.  He also calls a few other friends of Jennifer but nobody is able to help him with the password of the memory card.
Feeling helpless, Shekhar lies on the bed and soon sleep overtakes his tired mind.
Lying beside him, Tara has heard every bit of the conversation that he had with Sylvia and other friends of Jennifer.
Her hyperactive mind conjures up an idea.  She is quick to perceive the import of the news that she had just heard and the impression it will make on her new boss.
Suddenly, a small cloud of guilt passes through Tara’s mind.
“Am I doing the right thing by Shekhar?   Should I leak this confidential information to the world?  Does he deserve that”?
A rational voice yells at her that very moment.
“Are you thinking of this man, Tara?  He is least concerned about your life.  Did he ask you once how your day at the new office was?  Does he even care for Roohi?  He just lives in a bubble.  Stop thinking of him so much and focus on your career.  You deserve better!
Tara knows what she needs to do.  All her doubts are cleared and she sleeps tranquilly.

You can read the next chapter here

Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.

Thursday 18 September 2014

The doctor's visit

Amit’s forehead showed lines of furrow as he saw his newlywed wife, Reema lying unconscious in fever. Finally the doctor came after what seemed like ages. Amit and Reema were in a quaint hill station for their honeymoon.
As the doctor did his thorough check up, he could hear some vague mumbles. He looked at a deeply concerned Amit and said with a smile that the high fever is making his wife mumble wobbling, broken words.
As the doctor sat to prescribe, he could again hear his patient mumble the same words. He said assuaging words to Amit that his wife would be fine in two days.
Amit seemed partly composed. When the doctor was about to leave the room, he glanced at the husband and wife. An excruciating smile crept on his face followed by a sigh of relief.
“Thank God, Reema wasn’t aware that the person’s name she was mumbling was right in front of her. She did not deserve to know as her husband loved her far more than the coward boy who couldn’t keep his promises.” The doctor soliloquized in his mind and left the room right away; his heart heavy with an erratic agony.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Memory Intrigues (Chapter 10)

The logo of our team is designed by Ruchita

This is the 10th chapter of the mysteriously riveting story "Memory Intrigues". This novel is being written by 10 bloggers under the team Dynamic Word Weavers for the Game of Blogs organized by BlogAdda #CelebrateBlogging
  Here are the previous chapters:


Tara comes back from her office, sanguine and confident. After what feels like ages, she feels so jubilant and triumphant. The last day was so melancholic for her but a simple intelligent idea brought everything in her favor. She glances at Shekhar who is sitting with his laptop, nonchalant. For a change, Tara does not get bothered by her husband’s strange demeanor.

“Hi hubby, how was your day?” Tara mouths with a genuine smile.

Shekhar looks at Tara, perplexed. After a long time, he sees her talking in such an amicable tone. A saccharine smile creeps on Shekhar’s face on finding his wife talk to him in such a sweet way. It has been so long since Shekhar and Tara have shared a genuine smile.

“I am fine Tara. Just a little worried about Jen. I hope she is safe. I really cannot understand why she is not contacting me.” Shekhar says pulling Tara’s hand, urging her to sit beside him.

“Don’t worry. Everything will turn out fine.” Tara replies, cleverly camouflaging her obscure deeds.  Shekhar finds solace in Tara’s words and squeezes her hand in gratitude.

Tara moves to their bedroom and changes into her comfortable tees and pajamas. For a fleeting moment, an air of guilt grips her heart but she quickly disregards it. She tries to convince herself that what she did was absolutely right.

With renewed positivity, Tara moves to the kitchen to prepare a good dinner. She notices Shekhar surfing the channels on TV and Roohi talking to her teddy in the dining room.

“Baby, you must be hungry. Mom is making a delicious dinner for you.” Tara approaches Roohi and plants a tender kiss on her cheek. Roohi looks at her mother with an innocent smile and hugs Tara endearingly.

“Mom loves you a lot my baby. There was a lot of work in Mom’s office, so Mom couldn’t give you time. Don’t ever think of leaving Mom.” Tara says and embraces Roohi tightly. Roohi cries out of happiness and Tara tickles her stomach. Roohi’s delightful laughter placates Tara’s weary mind.

Tara realizes that she can only be happy and contented in life when her career is heading in the right direction. Enduring Shekhar’s lazy and apathetic ways also seems relatively easier when her career is in a secure and respectable state.

Tara resumes to her cooking when Shekhar stands up from the couch and increases the volume of the TV after hearing the headline “WHERE IS JENNIFER”?   The news reader speaks in a resounding voice, much to Shekhar’s consternation. Jennifer’s photograph is highlighted in the top left corner and the news reader speaks robotically.

Jennifer Joseph, a young, exuberant and an audacious photographer is missing since many days. She hails from Kochi, is dusky, and has a tattoo of “Vivacious Jen” inscribed on her right hand. Last, she was noticed sporting a graphics T-shirt and shorts.
According to our confidential source, this bold photographer has clicked a sensational photograph that can reveal the true face of a Central Minister.
Now if we connect the dots, we get an indication that the central minister might have a close connection with the death of an actress.
Had Jennifer captured enough evidence against the minister?
Is this the reason she has been abducted by the minister and his subordinates?
Is Jennifer alive or has she been brutally murdered?
We are faced with a mystifying riddle. The riddle is “WHERE IS JENNIFER”?
Stay tuned to 24 x 7 folks. We will keep you updated about the status.

Shekhar sits on the couch, distressed and switches off the TV which keeps yelling “WHERE IS JENNIFER”?  Tara is closely monitoring her husband’s reactions from the kitchen. She approaches Shekhar, taking small steps. She notices that Roohi is happier than she has been recently – the effect of the hug and kiss she has given her after a long time.

“Tara, this is your news channel. How did they know about this? And has Jennifer been murdered? I don’t understand anything.   I am feeling sick.   I think I should go out to find Jen right now” Shekhar blabbers hysterically.  Tara lets out a long sigh and carefully composes her words.

“Shekhar, this is a news channel.  It runs on TRPs. So assume that they have magnified the facts.  They have translated the abduction of Jennifer into the possibility of her being murdered” Tara says maintaining her composure.

“But how did they get to know that Jennifer has clicked a sensational photograph of the minister?  You know this news can exasperate the minister further. They would be more desperate now to cause Jen harm.  Oh God!” Shekhar bangs the coffee table, hurting himself.

“I don’t have any idea, Shekhar.  As they said, they have hidden sources. Right now, I am busy with hosting the new talk show of our channel. After a lot of predicaments, they have given me this opportunity.” Tara thought for a while and added, “Who knows? Maybe someone is spying on us or may not or perhaps your phone number is tapped too?”

Shekhar looks at Tara innocently and shakes his head in disappointment.

“Don’t worry Shekhar. Be strong and let us just pray that Jennifer is safe and sound” Tara says holding Shekhar’s hand.

Shekhar can’t take it anymore and embraces Tara with his feeble heart.  More than surprise, Shekhar is happy to find his wife so empathetic and compassionate towards him. The family has their dinner together after a long time.

In the bedroom, sleep totally eludes Shekhar and Tara.  Tara recollects how she told the editor that she has some thrilling news that can boost their channel’s TRP.  In return, they have to let her host the much hyped new talk show of their channel.  The avaricious editor agreed at once and showered Tara with bouts of appreciation.  Tara knows that she had not done right with Shekhar but this was the only option she had to resurrect her drowning career.  She cannot tolerate being humiliated every day in office.

Shekhar tosses and turns on the bed as thoughts of Jen shrouds his mind. The newsreader’s words strike like a bullet in his heart “Is Jennifer alive or has been brutally murdered?” He prays God again and again to keep Jen safe.

 Here we come to the end of Part 1 of the story. 

 To be continued...

You can read the 11th chapter here

Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.