Friday, February 16, 2007

Deal Unto Death – Part IX

The next morning when he woke up, he was very fresh and enthusiastic.He quickly had his breakfast and prepared a detailed report to be filed in the case file based on the conversation he had with the various witnesses for this case.

He added the meetings,the information he got from them and also his interpretations and leads based on his analysis of the statements from the witnesses.

He was still not completely ready to rule out the suspects he had short listed during his meetings in Bangalore. The case sure had become very complicated due to the facts about Vilas’ problems on the personal front , but the problems he had in Bangalore, in his office and with his room mates etc could not be ruled out totally as well. And his death could be due to any of the two, or worse it could have been due to a crazy combination of both. And his job was to fit the pieces of the puzzle in its place and make sense of the plethora of information thrown at him. He also realized that he still had quite a bit of unexplored territory to conquer and the more he learned, the more he will be able to recreate the past.

After noting down his findings in the case file he spent some time trying to assimilate his thoughts. Then he called up Meena.

He told her about his meetings and explained her the story of Vilas as told by the various people he met .He also described the character profile of Pooja,Vilas’ dad and Keerthana as per his perception. Meena was listening to all this,asking relevant questions at each point. As he was talking to Meena Ravi got the intimation of another call in his mobile.It was from Keerthana. He promised to call back Meena before disconnecting and attended the one from Keerthana. Keerthana confirmed her meeting with him and the place and told him that she will come to the coffee shop at 11:30 am.

“What a time to have coffee!!”,He remarked

“Ah well,that’s the time when the crowd will be the least and we aren’t exactly meeting there to have coffee.I have chosen the time and place in such a way that we have the least chance of getting spotted”

“Ya I understand that!!.”

“Hmm Ok,see you there” she disconnected the line.

He called back Meena and told her that Keerthana had confirmed the timings for the meeting.

“What are you possibly gonna achieve by bothering that poor girl”she asked.

“I don’t know madam!! My gut feel tells me to meet her”

“As a fellow detective,I have all the respect for your gut feels.I only hope you don’t end up ruining her life”

“I shall try not to do any more damage than what I had already done”

“All the best” He could hear her smile.

“Thanks” he disconnected the line.

It was 10.30 by then and he wasn’t sure where exactly was Ullhasnagar.He tried to get some information and direction from the receptionist of the hotel.As he came to his room he realized that he had totally forgotten to contact Pooja’s boyfriend.

He promptly dialed the number.The phone was picked up almost instantly.

“Rishi speaking”

“Hi this is Ravi,Iam a detective from bangalore

Rishi’s voice interrupted even before he can finish.

“Oh…Oh ya!! Pooja called me!! told me abt you”there was a strange tone of defiance and aggression in his voice.

“oh good!! I was thinking whether I can meet you sometime”

“You want to meet me?? well lemme see………hmmmmmmm……….”he was taking a fairly long time to think mumbling some stuff to himself all the while before he said,“how abt today evening ?? around 7??”

“hmm sure, that should be fine”

“Dude…wait a minute……..think I wont be available this evening!! How about tomorrow?”

“Oh ok!! Tomorrow at what time??”

“Hmmmm tell you what?? We can have today evening!! Guess I should be able to make it”

Ravi was just a little bit annoyed with Rishi’s mannerism,but he patiently confirmed the timing one more time. Rishi suggested that the meeting be in a famous hangout in Cross road for which Ravi agreed without any qualms.

After the call he had just enough time to reach the place. He hurriedly went in and thanked the Gods for being able to find the place without getting lost. Otherwise he would have been late for the meeting for sure. He looked around to see whether he could find some one looking for him. He was wondering whether he should call keerthana as he sat near one of the tables laid there.

Just then a lady in burkha neared him and asked.

“Mr.Ravi??”

He gave a bewildered look into the face covered by the veil and said.”yes??”

Then the lady lifted her veil as she said “Iam Keerthana” and sat in the opposite chair.

The lifted veil revealed a beautiful face with a fair complexion with a noticeably big piercing on her nose. She had sharp features and a heart shaped face that made it impossible for any man to resist looking at her twice.There was a fair amount of mystery in her face which would make anybody to look at her again and again in search of the answer they will never find,the extra something that she hid it in her face. The face , polished by the pride of the knowledge that people are unaware of, that extra something that made her beauty stand out from the rest of the beauty queens.

“Nice idea” remarked Ravi in reference to the attire she had chosen for the meeting.

She let out a measured smile which slowly turned in to an expression of sadness in a rate more smoother than the precision of a satellite launch.

“What happened…how can this happen??”

“We are figuring out the events that led to his death. That’s the reason I want to talk to you”

“How did he die?? Were there any traces!! I mean…. any evidences”

“The police is still working on it!!I am trying to piece together the people and events in his life,trying to make sense of his situation”

“Hmm,Iam sure he must have been under a lot of stress.A break up is never an easy thing to take. Especially for a man of Vilas’ ego”

“Hmmm,lemme ask you something Do you think its possible that he might have commited suicide?”

“Well its hard to say ,I would have never imagined Vilas to commit suicide,but human mind is a strange thing….you never know”

They ordered for coffee and the drink was served.

Vilas knew its time for him to go for the kill.

“Keerthana!! Can you tell me why you broke up??”

Keerthana placed the cup on the table after sipping the drink with involuntary care so as to make sure that her lipstick did not make a mark on the cup.

“The day I met Vilas,I knew that he was going to be someone whom I might never forget in my life.I just didn’t know it would be for all the wrong reasons”

Ravi forgot that he had a cup of coffee in front of him on the table that was fast becoming cold.. He leaned forward to make sure he did not miss even a single word from her mouth.

……..to be continued.

Deal Unto Death – Part X

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