Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A faint gesture

Ranjit had beer daily in the evenings with his friends at the local restaurent.They occupied the same corner table and shared the bill equally. It was the same charming bar girl who served them daily.May be this could be the reason why they never changed the table.It was a daily ritual. But she never spoke one unnecessary word though courteous.Her large blue eyes and her swaying hips did something to Ranjit that can hardly be explained and he knew he was in love with her.But she never encouraged any advances from him. Ranjit was not defeated and his visits continued hoping someday she would relent.
One day as she was bringing the tray with bottles, glasses and ice, she accidentally dropped the napkin .Ranjit pounced on it and gave it to her with a flourish.She took it from him with a thanks accompanied by a smile along with what he presumed as a faint wink unseen by others.

Ranjit was overwhelmed by joy as he announced with gusto ‘Today’s beer binge will be on me.Drink as much as you wish’.His puzzled buddies wondered what went wrong with their usually tight fisted friend.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Last reply

Not one around in the isolated mountain resort.She knew her life was fast ebbing out as the last blood drained.She carried her lover’s child in her womb.When she insisted on marriage, he brought her here with false promise and stabbed her before leaving.

Luckily she could feel the locket in the chain on her neck that he had ignored in his hurry.It contained their photo.She opened it to touch his picture with her blood soaked finger and drew his initials on the floor.

‘This is enough.You will soon get nailed’ she muttered in wry smile as her life passed out

Monday, September 27, 2010

We did not harass

‘Did you harass your wife for dowry?’ asked the lawyer
‘No,I did not’ said the youngman.he seemed calm and collected
‘What is the reason for her suicide?’
‘I don’t know’
‘You are her husband.How come you are not aware?
‘She didn’t discuss with me about this
There was an audible laughter in the court.
‘Did you start a new company?’
‘Yes,I did’
‘Who financed it?”
‘Mainly the bank and my savings’
‘Was it sufficient?’
‘No’
‘Is your wife a partner?’
‘Yes’
‘Has she invested any amount?
‘She promised to muster her share’
‘How much?’
‘Rs.10 lakhs’
‘Was she working anywhere?’
‘No she was a housewife’
‘Wherefrom was she expecting to muster?
‘I don’t know’
‘Has she any friends or relatives to help her financially/’
‘None’
‘Wherefrom she expected to muster? She must have told you’
‘Yes, I remember her telling that she would ask her dad’
‘Was her dad in an affluent position to give?’
‘No, he was not wealthy but had a tiled house’
‘Was your wife his only child?’
‘No, he has four children’
‘How can he then help her/’
‘Don’t know.May be by selling the house?’
‘You mean the house where he was living with his wife and children”
The defendant was quiet
‘Answer the question’
‘That was the only way’
Did your company need her share of money urgently?’
‘Yes’
‘Did you ask her to bring it quickly?’
‘Yes, I did’
‘When was that?’
‘One year back’
‘Did she bring?’
‘No’
‘So you had to remind her frequently’
‘Yes, the money was urgently required’
‘Did you send her to her dad’s house to bring the money?’
‘When she said she would go, I permitted her’
‘Did she ask to go almost daily?’
‘She had to request her dad for help’
‘If she did not go, did you suggest that she go?’
‘May be’’’
‘Did she go in her kast 10 days/’
‘No, she did not’
‘Did she refuse?’
The defendant was quiet
Answer the question
‘Yes’
‘Was there a loud argument over this as your neighbours allege?’
‘Yes, we were discussing’
‘Still she refused?’
The defendant kept quiet
Answer the question’ the judge ordered
‘Did your parents and brother also join in the argument/’
Again silence from defendant
“Answe’
‘Yes, they advised her’
‘Advised her, what?’
‘Advised her to get her share of the money’
‘Did her dad agree to give before you started the company?’
‘No’
‘So the pressure on your wife to get the money mounted in the last ten days of her life’
Silence
Especially after her refusal.Any response?’
Continued silence
‘Answer’
‘We did not harass’
‘Did your wife smoke’’
‘No’
Do you smoke?’
‘Yes, I do’
‘Are you aware that many burnt cigarette marks were there on her face, belly and thighs?
Silence again

The lawyer said ‘I rest my case your honouur’


Sunday, September 26, 2010

The living god

Diwali was next day. The sales were brisk in the bazaar with shops awash with goods in glittering colours and designs on the shelves and platforms and with overflowing crowd of people eager to buy. I saw that lady in her early forties,with a small boy and a girl slightly older in tow in the super market watching the shelves from a distance.From her appearance and ordinary dress I could surmise she was not well off.I had nothing in particular to buy but came to the big store to while away my time watching people.The young boy was tugging her at every shelf and pointing out to some item or the other he desired.She gently dragged him away.The girl was quieter and seen comforting the boy.I saw them moving towards the discount counter offering dresses at dirt cheap prices.She selected after long time two dresses one each for her kids and moved towards the sweet stall.The boy was wanting many delicacies but when his mom bought half a kg of the cheapest sweet,he started crying loudly.She took care to make a detour to the exit gate by avoiding the fire works and crackers section.

As they were nearing the entrance some one collided against the girl who was holding the sweets packet.The whole thing fell down on the floor.When the girl bent to pick the sweets, the security dissuaded her saying it was a dirty place with so many walking in and out.The lady’s face was grim as tears trickled from the eyes of the girl. The boy started pleading that they go back to buy again.But the lady dragged them away outside.

I could not forget the faces of the crying boy, the silent girl with guilt writ large and the sad woman.I wondered why God kept some in perpetual want while some in needless plenty.It made my heart heavy and I lost the mood to linger anymore in the shopping centre.I went back home a short while later

Two hours later, there was a knock at the door of her one room tenement.The room was not bright.When she opened she found a man in driver’s white uniform standing with two large and heavy baskets in his hand.He said”This is for you and your children.My boss every year on Diwali eve gifts like this to some unknown people.He saw you and your children at the supermarket.Please have no worry as he is a very decent and good man.”

The boy jumped with joy and the girl smiled.The woman after some hesitation accepted the baskets to find dresses for all, plenty of sweets of different varieties, fruits and crackers for the kids.There was a cover addressed “To my sister, Happy Diwali” with 1000 Rupees inside.There was a note that said ”if you need any help, meet me and my wife at….”

She looked at the man in uniform showing him the note and the money.He smiled back and said “Yes, this is the way my boss celebrates Diwali each year bringing cheer and smile to some unknown needy family. He is my living god”

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The choice

Mangala’s lover was waiting in the vehicle outside.The sms urged her to come away quickly.She turned to look at her snoring husband on the cot with his mouth wide open and legs spread apart showing his undergarment.A feeling of revulsion took over her.Her one year old girl was sleeping by his side.After she gathered a couple of dressses, she turned again to have one last look at her baby.She was shocked to see it on the verge of the cot and likely to fall anytime.He was still snoring loudly.She lifted the baby in her arms and sat down crying.The mobile frequently rang to indicate new messages.She ignored them as she hugged the child.

Three years back she was just a 17 year old girl working along with her mom as domestic help. In her afternoons she used to visit her neighbouring house to watch TV.The lady there was a wily woman.Seeing this good looking girl she planned to get her married to her brother who was 38.He was an alchoholic spending all his money on liquor and whores..She felt a marriage would make him more responsible.She created opportunities for them to meet by calling him also to play carrom or watch TV.She would frequently vanish for short periods leaving them alone.One day the girl lost her innocence and cried inconsolably.The wily woman convinced her and made her marry her brother.

It was all hunky dory initially.She conceived and soon got a baby girl.When he never gave money for running the household or for taking care of the baby’s requirements, she was upset.He expected her to work in several households and not to look to him for money.Eventually he started beating her to take away whateer money she had..The drinking habits made him neglect his wife.The wide difference in age and his poor health left her unhappy.

It was then she met an young driver in ration shop.She was attracted to him.A bachelor 26 years old he was willing to marry her provided she left her husband and the child.She was ready to leave her husband but not her daughter.The young man was adamant.on that issue and wanted her to choose one of them, either the baby or him. .Life became unbearable when her husband started suspecting and beating her more.She decided to leave him once and for all.It was agreed that her lover would come in the night to pick her up.

The mobile became insistent.Her husband moved a little.The baby in her arms was awake and started kicking her legs.Suddenly the infant giggled at her mom.Mangala was overcome with love for the baby as her maternal instincts rose.She hugged the baby and smiothered kisseson her till the baby started crying.When the mobile rang.again,she switched it off.She had made her choice.

Friday, September 24, 2010

What is sauce for the goose

I was relaxing in bed with a novel in my hand after cleaning the showcase for the ensuing nine-day festival.My maid was mopping the floors. A young girl of 12 years, she was sincere in her work.I could always see some unspoken fear in her eyes whenever I talked to her.May be, it was my serious look and stern disposition she had witnessed when I deal with my kids of her age.

I heard a loud clang and a gasp. I rushed out to see the girl had dropped two cups and saucers in China left on the dining table by my careless kids.The girl slowly raised her head to look at me from the floor where she was picking the broken pieces.I could see the panic and trepidation in her eyes as she started crying.She expected me to turn furious as the crockery was bought only a week earlier.The panic in her face turned into bewilderment when she saw me smiling and telling her ‘Never mind,it happens to all.Be careful,the sharp pieces may hurt your fingers’.


The little girl did not know that I had an hour earlier accidentally dropped a Chinese vase brought by my husband from China.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sadism at its height

It was clear thatt the four men who were dragging him had evil intentionsThere were a crowd of people watching as if they were in erstwhile Roman arena .He knew he would be hacked to death by the vile men very soon in the most cruel manner.Yet not a single person had the guts to stop such brazen kiilling in public even as women and children were walking around. It can be anybody’s turn tomorrow..People were dumb and powerless.The government was indiferrent and unable to curb the menace due to vested interests.All his wails and screams were of no avail as the blood spluttered around on the floor

Who bothers about a goat offered in sacrifice?

The Lord in a quandary

Lord Krishna was in a quandary.He had urgent calls from two sets of people needing His help.But He decided to answer one of the prayers though He could have done many.Who is to question God’s will?

There was the mother weeping outside the surgery room praying for her son’s life.A virtuous and pious boy, he deserved to live long.

There was the urgent summons again from thousands of men to save the life of their notoriously bad neta(leader).They were all atheists questioning His existence and taunting Him on every occasion.But they prayed now when doctors had given up to save their neta’who was murderously attacked.

The Lord was in a fix.Should he listen to the wail of the good mother or the prayers of horde of non- believers.He was sad for a while when He looked at the woman but smiled when He saw the miserable crowd..

Soon the good mom let out a scream when her son was declared dead.The crowd around the neta burst crackers in jubilation when he was said to be out of danger in what was considered a miracle.

Why is God so partial, I wondered.My little mind could only fathom out this reason.Possibly He had taken the virtuous young man to His heaven ridding him of birth and death cycle while by saving neta’s life He would have converted the thousands into believers and let the wicked neta stew more in his world of evil.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A dilemma

He was in deep debt. The debtors were pressurising him with threats. He was the sole bread winner for parents and younger siblings. He could see no way out except to take refuge in God at the temple.He prayed with his eyes closed.”Show me a way out.If I am freed of this burden of debts and the onerous task of looking after family, I promise to renounce the world and be your devotee for ever.’ A handsome young man everyone turned to look at him as they passed by.

When he opened his eyes he found in surprised bewilderment a lottery ticket before him .Someone had left it thinking he was a mendicant looking for alms.To his amazement and joy it had won him the next day ten million tupees.All his problems vanished in a trice like snow flakes before sun.God in his infinite mercy had answered his prayer.Only his part remained to be fulfilled.

He remembered his promise as he walked in the bazaar.The bar and beer beckoned him.But he bought himself an ochre robe. His mind was restless as he sat in the temple in his yellow clothes.Tears trickled from his eyes as he realised it was not easy to take to Sanyas.It was a foolish promise made in haste.He was ina quandary not knowing how to get out of this tricky situation he had invited upon himself.His eyes were closed in deep thought.

It was then he heard the voice’Cut.pack up.The day’s shooting is over.”

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Misfired romance

Raju born among six sisters was a timid man.Even his wife often chided him ‘to behave like a man, stand up to bullies and be counted in a crowd.’ Her constant bickering made him diffident.She was a well built woman of great charm while Raju was frail and small structured.Though they had two kids, she was not fully happy and often quarreled with him in the nights.But Raju was a good provider meeting all her wishes in clothes and jewelry.Life was humdrum with each day being no different with the other.While Raju slogged late hours in office, his wife was left sulking before TV that never caught her fancy.She needed company,affection and pampering.

One day when he came unexpectedly early from work in the midday when the children were away at school, he found to his deep dismay his wife in bed with a stodgy neighbour.He was shocked but left the room without uttering one word.The man left hurriedly and the woman came down long after pleading for mercy and pardon.He did not open his mouth much to the chagrin of his wife.She sulked more.Raju became quiet not knowing to assert himself.

When he started coming home at unexpected hours on different days only to catch them in compromising position, he decided to put an end to this deception.He got a pistol and hid it in pant.He told his wife he was not feeling well and that he would like to take a day off and sleep. She agreed and after lunch gave him a hot drink of horlicks telling that it would make him sleep well.

Suddenly he woke up after a couple of hours and remembering the purpose of his absence from work,he felt for the pistol in his pocket.Assured that he would teach the culprits a fitting lesson,he tiptoed to bed room.As expected he saw them in the bed in a disgusting manner..He slowly took the pistol and fired two shots point blank at them.But they continued in their amorous merry making unruffled.

He shouted at his wife”Don’t you have an iota of shame? When I am here standing by your side ,the two of you still persist with the shameless act.You rascal,get lost before I shoot you’

They did not seem to be bothered at all and became more passinate.He tried to pull his wife away from that scoundrel but he could not.He wondered why.

It was then she giggled saying to her lover 'No more worry from that skinny man, my dear.I gave him horlicks laced with insecticde.He must be dead by now.Dont come for a few days till they pronounce it as a suicide.’

She was unaware of a suicide note left by Raju why he was taking away his life by the same pistol he planned to use against his wife and her secret lover.

Invention


Calling himself a scientist, he always worked on something.
He came one afternoon as I was eating
'Raj, I have made a great invention.Will send it for patent.No more pangs of hunger if one takes them..I will become very rich.'
I was awestruck
'Can I join in your lunch? I am famished' he said

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Serial killer at large

The TV blared
‘Killer at large.Targets old women.Secure the doors’..
Alone she trembled.Son was away.
Her house was in desolate corner.It was 2 am
The dogs barked. Dull thuds. Long silence
Her heart beat fast.Loud knocking.
She fainted in panic
Worried about mom son had rushed early
Doctor pronounced cardiac arrest
TV blared another victim

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mom is coming

Got a call, mom is coming in two days’said Raju.
‘Kids have examinations.She can come later’replied his wife
‘It shouldn’t affect.’
It will. Besides I have tour for fortnight
‘I can take care’
‘You don’t understand.I am exhausted. I don’t want her now’
‘Be reasonable’
‘Sorry, it is final’
‘Actually your mom called,not mine’

Thursday, September 16, 2010

55 word fiction

A threat

Hello
Who is that?
Your nemesis
What
Boss has decided.Fix your funeral
What crap? Who are you?
You will be dead by tomorrow
Why? I didn’t hurt a fly.
You are a squealer,
Whom do you want to kill?
You
What name?
Surendran
I am Joseph
What is your number?
9244112347
Sorry wrong number

A stroke of luck


Sandhya was in a hurry for an interview.She saw an elderly gentleman trip. She rushed to help collect his strewn things.He thanked her with a smile..She prayed at Ganesh temple and rushed.She badly needed this job but was shaken by waiting crowd.
When she entered the room, same gentleman smiled again saying’ you are selected’

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

55 word fiction

Why?
She saw her ex-flame in mall
He dropped her at her place
‘Won’t you come in?’
‘Why not,I will’’
They sat in sofa with drinks.
He hugged her tight.She melted
Soon they locked lips passionately
She led him into bedroom and closed the doors
Next moment she rushed out screaming
Why?
Sorry, 55 words restrction!!

55 word fiction

Rendezvous
‘Can you come after 8pm? I will be alone.’
'My hubby will be home. I will try to sneak out though cannot stay long'.
‘I think it is enough though this is the first time.’
‘Don’t worry.You will be pleased when you are done’.
At 8 pm Shanthi entered to teach Sita for dyeing her hair.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

55 word fiction

The dance
I was alone sipping beer in the restaurent.Band was on with people dancing
She walked towards me and asked ‘Care to dance?’
She was hot and danced with passion.’Meet me at 29, Carnaby road an hour later for some fun.’
‘This is 29 alright. No one lives here after the lady committed suicde ‘said watchman
Uncaring
Raju,you cannot send her away.She has been with you for years since her younger days
Sorry dad, she has become old and not meeting my expectations.I want an younger one to satisfy my needs.
You are cruelly insensitive as she is not protesting
I cannot help it,dad
The butcher led away the cow

Thursday, September 9, 2010

unrequited love

You have blindly fallen for her looks and colour.But she will not enter our door steps. Make your choice.It is either she or me’ said Niranjana emphatically.

’Sorry, I have already committed and I love her so much.Please relent’pleaded Naresh

When she stood firm, Naresh had one last look at the brown Daschund puppy

Monday, September 6, 2010

55 word fiction


Paid in same coin
It was a long queue.An old man offered Satyan free a Rs.500 ticket for special darsan saying it was spare as friend did not come.. Satyan insisted on his taking the money..
The security stopped Satyan saying 'it is fake ticket.Never buy from outside'
Elsewhere the cashier returned the note to old man saying it is counterfiet

Sunday, September 5, 2010

55 word fiction

A few short stories .Can they be called 55 word fiction?
Compassion
You could see the hunger from the beggar’s eyes .The aroma from the packet of Biriyani found from garbage outside a wedding hall was overwhelming.As he took a small portion to his mouth, he saw the eager eyes of a folded figure before him.’Come on,let us share’he said as he pushed the packet before him

Coincidence
New to the city,she rushed for her blind date.Unable to locate Dreamland hotel she asked the man for directions.’Followme,I am heading there’ he said.How handsome and desirable ,she thought.The man went to reception counter while she headed for the reserved table.Ina few moments,the handsome guy approached her asking ‘Are you Suneeta? I am Naresh.’
Relief
Police telephoned that their car had met with accident and wanted her to identify the body.Her husband had left in the car for Pondy.
“Is it your husband?
“No” Sanju said with some relief
“Who is that then?”
Her mobile rang.”Sanju,I came by bus asking my friend to bring the car that had broken down.

Loyalty
‘Do you wish to have our wedding picture?’ he showed the framed photo
‘No, you may throw it in garbage’ she replied
‘What else you wish to take?’
“I will take the dog.it is loyal to me’she replied
She was leaving having won the divorce suit on charge of adultery.

Panic
It was pitch dark everywhere.Yet he could see scary faces-faces with no nose, some with no mouth,and others with no eyes.They were staring at him and were closing in on him.Panic hit him
‘Sister, come here quickly’he cried
The nurse came near and covered his face with white sheet

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The irony

Krish passed through this signal daily for his office and invariably got stuck there.He has grown up seeing beggars and hawkers.But the nuisance at the signal is unbearable.Hordes of small children and young women with nursing babes in arms in scanty clothes that hardly cover swarm around vehicles.Dirty children with running noses and unwashed hair,impoverished mothers with babes in skeletons, the lame, the lepers and sturdy boys under the pretence of selling combs,car swipes,magazines,goggles and what not, pester by tapping the doors or swiping the vehicle unsolicited.They cannot be ignored as they are a tenacious lot and take great risks when the signals turn green.

Krish felt bad.He knew that offering a few nickels or showing sympathy would hardly touch the fringe of the problem let alone solving.The kids are not in schools where they should be but begging always come rain or summer.He was sore that despite freedom for six decades, poverty is still rampant untouched by all the development plans and spending by goverments. He felt that some radical steps should be taken Suddenly he was woken up from his reverie as there were horns blaring and vehicles moving as signal had changed.The beggars also ran to the otherside where vehicles stood awaiting green

Through out the day his mind was wholly occupied by the misery he saw and his mood was low.When he met his colleagues in the office, he talked only on poverty and the steps needed to remove it.One guy said that begging should be banned in the cities while another said beggars who beg should be put in jails.None of these impressed Krish.He wished for the day when no child was seen begging at the traffic signals.

He left office early that day as he had to take his wife and son to buy some school stuff.After buying writing instruments from Staplers, they went to Bata to buy shoes for the boy who had outgrown his present set.They had the old shoes also packed and given to them.Krish’s wife said”Let us give the old pair to some poor child at the crossing” It was already 8.30pm.The car as usual stopped at the signal .He lowered the doors and wistfully looked for kids begging.Lo,not a single child was seen, even adult beggars were not visible.He saw the disappointed face of his wife. In a bit of irony, Krish wished that atleast one child presented itself to take the shoe!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Blackmail


The resort was nestled amidst the verdant plantations and the undulating green plains.Their room was overlooking the lush garden with flowers of different hues.It was drizzling since last night and the morning sun was not yet visible.Pranesh and Praveena snuggled with each other on the sofa were sipping tea.They were married just a week earlier.The ambience was great and ideal for newly wed on their honeymoon.

It was then the phone rang.She got up to take it from the bed. A voice in almost a whisper said “Praveena ,don’t be shocked.This is Vijay, your forgotten and ditched lover.It was by chance that Reddy told me of your marriage to some well heeled bloke and your honey moon trip.Sorry, I forgot. Hearty congratulations.I wish to meet you and your hubby to greet you in person.I know where you are staying”

“Hmm………thanks……………” she could not say anything more with Pranesh watching her.

“Dear,do not be afraid.I will never harm you.You were so generous with your love in the past.I would be an ungrateful wretch to put you in any difficulty.I just need a tiny help to get over some pressing financial problems.I need one lakh rupees immediately.Pity you didn’t have a computer and you had to write all your passionate and romantic letters.Keep the money ready.I forgot to hand over your letters after you parted from me.I will bring them for sure.I am unable to forget you easily after our intimacy “ Vijay said in a soft voice.

But she knew the viper had come to bite her by blackmail.She looked at the sofa and found to her immense relief that Pranesh had gone to bath room.

“Look here, Vijay.I cannot talk much now .I have no money to give.I beg of you to leave me alone and not harm me’ she pleaded with him

“Sweety,I am told he is a rich guy.If you cannot pay I will talk to him and make an honourable deal for exchange of letters to the sum I wanted.I need by tomorrow.How you play your cards is upto you” he seemed adamant.

As she was beseeching him with her pleas for mercy, Pranesh came out of bathroom and asked her who was on the line?”

“One of my friends.He couldn’t attend our wedding. He wished to greet us in person.I told him we are away on honeymoon” she replied

“Ask him to attend the reception we are giving on Sunday at the hotel “ he said.Rushing suddenly towards her, he snatched the phone and said “This is Pranesh,Praveena’s husband.Your good name ,Sir….Vijay? Thanks .Please attend without fail the reception at Green Hall on Sunday.I would be happy to meet you and talk to you ..Bye till then” said Pranesh in warm tone before disconnecting the line

“Why do you look so pale and haggard? What is bothering you, Praveena?I think it is lack of adequate sleep these last few days’he said with a mischievous wink.

She knew Vijay was wicked only after being tricked by his sweet talk and handsome looks.Within a few months, she decided he was not made for her and broke off the relationship.No doubt she had committed a few indiscretions and her letters to him were one such.Hr did not let her go easily and pestered her. She did not succumb to his threats.But she dreaded him now that she is married and shuddered at the harm he can do to her.

The reception hall was crowded with guests coming one after another to the couple shaking hands, wishing them well, handing over the gifts, having pictures taken and walking towards the dining hall.It was hot and sweaty despite the AC hall.Praveena saw Vijay at a distance and started trembling..Pranesh who was holding her hand saw the change in her and quietly whispered “Do not worry.The crowd is too much and would soon be over”

“Congratulations Praveena and Mr Pranesh.I am Vijay.We spoke the other day.Praveena is very close friend of mine.I wish her all the best.Kindly have this small gift. I have another gift for you Pranesh which I wish to hand over after a small talk with you in private” Vijay said

“Thank you Vijay.We can meet in half an hour.The guests are still pouring in.Mean while you may kindly rest in the adjacent AC room”Pranesh said.

He signalled to someone standing nearby and said “Take this gentleman into that room and take good care of him.Please pay special attention.I will be with you in 30 minutes”

Once inside Vijay saw four more heavily built men in the room.They closed the door as they approached him with a smug smile.Abruptly one man punched his nose asking him”Buddy,don’t you wish to live peacefully ?Since when you have taken to blackmailing?”

When Vijay protested more blows were showered on him by all the four men on him and his clothes removed leaving him in his underwear.Some one took the other gift packet and tore it open to find innumerable letters.while another guy lit the letters with cigarrette lighter to see them burn to ashes.Another guy kicked Vijay on his groin and told him to keep off from the couple lest he is finished.

It was then Pranesh entered the room and said”What is this? Vijay, are you okay?

Turning to the four men he asked “Can’t you people have taken the letters from him without being rough? Give him back his dress and take him to the dining hall.”

“Sorry, Vijay.You wanted to say something.Do you have still anything to tell?’ he asked

When Pranesh went back to reception hall, Praveena asked “What did he say to you?”

“Nothing.I asked him to have his dinner but he pleaded his inability due to urgent work.I don’t think he will come again ever.Do not worry” he said with a smile

Pranesh took care not to divulge to Praveena that he had overheard the conversation in the bathroom in the resort on the parallel phone.