Friday, February 09, 2007

Deal Unto Death – Part V

By the time Ravi left the campus he was sure that the answer to the riddle was lying hundreds miles away from Bangalore on the shores of Arabian sea,in the city of Mumbai.

He called Meena and told her about the conversation with Raghav.

“I think I should go to Mumbai”


“I shall go home,pack up some stuff and go to majestic”

“You leaving today??”


“You got tickets??”

“I will find something.bus,train something. There is never a question of whether something will be available, it only depends on how much you are willing to pay for it.You should probably be happy iam not asking for a flight ticket” he was smiling.

“Very funny!! You are not asking coz you know you are not gonna get it”

He smiled a bit more as he heard the expected reply.

“Iam not asking coz I know its not that urgent,wouldn’t hesitate to ask if I felt the situation demands it!! Anyways!! Wish me luck”

“wish you all the best.take some from me if you want”

“wouldn’t hesitate to ask if the situation demands! Ok bye”

“take care!! Call me once you reach Mumbai and if you need anywhere,anything,anytime”

“will do , good night”

He disconnected the call.Ravi had never been to Mumbai. The excitement of going to the business capital of India mixed with the possibility of finding a breakthrough in the case made him walk faster.

He reached home,packed his bag with essential items and few clothes.He made a copy of the case file and stuffed it into the bag . He went to majestic and checked out the train and bus ticket availability. After roaming about for while he landed in the office of one of the hundreds of travel agents strewn around the railway station. He got a ticket for a bus leaving for Mumbai that night though the charge was several times higher than normal rates.After some time the passengers for the bus in which was going were beckoned.

He got a window seat but it was at the back of the bus and near to him was a middle aged guy who had a lot of pan in his mouth.

“am shaary butsh can I haav dha windho seeth,I need thu shpill paan frhom thime thu thime” the guy requested Ravi while taking care not to spill out his saliva on Ravi.

Ravi immediately got out letting him take the seat while ruing his bad luck. After a while the bus started and the guy next to him was preparing to sleep.Thankfully there was no pan in his mouth.

“boss!! How long does it take to for the bus to reach Mumbai”

“around 14-15 hours!! Normally!! But it might take longer too” he replied.

“Damn” sighed Ravi. He knew its going be a really long journey.

The bus dropped him in Dadar at the wee hours of the morning. His heart was jubilant on landing on a new place and he couldn’t control his heart as it jumped to see the famous landmarks in Mumbai.His nostrils were filled with the freshness of morning air and rejuvenated him with the liberal dosage of Mumbai spirit which it was carrying. He walked with a stride though he had been traveling for a really long time. He ignored the taxiwallahs and two other people who offered him to take to a hotel to stay. He had already made up his mind as to where to stay as he had already got the contacts of a decent hotel to stay from a friend before he left Bangalore.He reached that hotel and was guided to his room.

He freshened up and called meena to inform that he had reached safely and then he went out to have breakfast.After coming back,he opened up the case file to locate the number and made a call to Vilas’s home. Somebody picked up after four rings.

“Hello” it was lady voice. Sounded like someone in her twenties.

“Hi !! this is Ravi from Bangalore. Iam from Meena detective agency …uh I just landed here regarding the investigation over the death of Mr.Vilas”

There was silence on the other end.

“What can I do for you” the voice said.

“I was wondering if I could meet someone from the family to get some more information….umm…….May I know who is speaking”

Again there was fair bit of silence on the other end.Looked like the person was thinking a lot before spelling out each word.

“This is Pooja! Vilas’ sister.What do you want from us”

“I …..I was just wondering whether I can have a meeting with you guys……you know……just having a small chat….”

There was a sound of a deep breath on the other side following which Pooja continued.

“Listen!!! We are pretty down and depressed right now and my parents……….” There was a brief pause and it sounded like she was trying to control herself from breaking down.”they have lost their only son..only now they are trying to come to grips of the situation. Why do you want to disturb us”

“Madam!!I totally understand how extremely painful time it is for you right now…I really do……….I am sorry but aren’t you interested to know why your brother had to meet such a tragic end??...I am really sorry for having to bother you this way but…….but I really think a meeting with you would help me find out why your brother died.”

Pooja took a couple of minutes and said”I do not know how my parents can take this!! When do you want to come”

“How about today after noon around 3?? I wont take too much of your time”

“Ok….But please bear in mind that my parents are under a lot of pain right now. I would appreciate if you could consider their state of mind during your visit.”

“I am fully aware of that and I will make all efforts to make sure I don’t hurt their feelings as much as possible”


“Thank you so much, meet you at 3”

The conversation ended.

After switching off his mobile he was sitting on the bed visualizing the meeting and his conversation. He knew he had to do a lot of homework and prepare his mind to handle these people without hurting their sentiments. But before that he was dead tired due to the long bus trip he had taken.

He just lied on the floor trying to imagine how vilas’ parents would look like and was trying to fix a face to the voice of Pooja. He closed his eyes trying to guess various scenarios that could have happened in Vilas’ life leading upto his death. Soon he fell asleep.

………… be continued.

· Deal Unto Death – Part VI