Joined: 26 April 2008
Joined: 27 June 2005
Two years, three months, fourteen days, five hours and six minutes.
Not that she was counting.
She shut off her alarm as it burst into an insistent robotic cry. The initial feelings of loss had deadened with every setting sun, but they still throbbed beneath her skin, oozing out at every emotional gash – when someone called him a traitor, when her parents asked about her marriage plans, or when ever she noticed the empty table opposite to her.
Two years – and it was still empty.
The sun crept in through the slits of the curtained windows, throwing light on the pearls of sweat on her shoulders.
Finishing the last set of sit-ups, she got up, retying her curly black hair in a pink scrunchy. She splashed water on her face, devouring the respite. It trickled down her throat.
Brinda Sahawney looked into the mirror. Two years of courts and trials had taken their toll, but it had been a rewarding fight in the end. Anasri's entire network was under lock and key. Guided by superior media pressure and a honest judiciary specially commissioned from the very above of the beaurocracy, the entire netwok had collapsed. A few elements still lurked outside the prison wall, but they were powerless for the time being. And it gave NCB the perfect opportunity to launch their campaign and clean up the streets.
Ten days after NCB's biggest triumph of the decade, Usmaan, Bose and Rokde , Jugdale's senior began lobbying support for extermination of all charges on two officers who had been compromised in the Ansari Case.
Once reports had been submitted, journalists instigated and media caressed shamelessly, the situation began to turn around in their favour.
Who could after all refuse the people who had managed to haul in Ansari, Professor Moriatry of the present times?
Brinda began to let go of all inhibitions – being in law enforcement meant you had to duck the law once or twice, and manipulate the media. It was something she hated to do, but became adept at, and hated herself again for it.
Jugdale had been bailed after six months, inqusitioned and tried, but the case was still pending in the court room and he now worked part time in a covert security firm in Malabar Hills.
Mahendra had been officially located and white washed in patriotism by the media. He was now a hero who had been close to sacrificing his life for his job. What was he doing in Mumbai, no one dared to ask – it became something of a fixture till more lies were invented, now by the honchos of the department who wanted to make everything look fine.
Brinda glanced at her cell phone. Mahendra and she had not talked even once. Brinda had never attempted to contact him, knowing that it would be a red carpet to the intelligence agencies to get to Mahendra. And presumably for the same reason, neither had Mahendra called.
The last she had seen him, spoken to him was on that fateful night. Exactly Two years, three months, fourteen days, five hours and six minutes.
The phone rang, piercing the
silent atmosphere of the house.
She tossed the napkin aside, and bent to retrieve it from her mess.
"Brinda, good news hain."
She perked up, wondering what had made Usmaan Sir call her at seven in the morning.
"The proposal passed through."
Usmaan cut the call silently. He pretended not to notice, but he recognized the embers in Brinda's eyes whenever they spoke of Mahendra or when Ashwini dropped by.
He knew it would take her time to let the message sink in, to come to terms that life could be wonderful again.
He frowned. He was not sure if Mahen was a good choice for Brinda, but then again, who was he to say, having no experience of his own.
Still, he decided to drop a word of caution to the girl.
Usmaan walked up the stairs to find someone waiting for him in the office.
She fidgeted slightly. Usmaan noted her discomfort with a smile. She grabbed her bag hastily and beat a retreat to her desk. Usmaan followed her silently.
"Aj itne jaldi?"
"Nahi Sir, bas aise hi."
"Theek hain, main chalta hoon. Mujhe kuch calls karne hain, Dubai."
Her eyes widened in hope and surprise.
"Why don't you go and meet Jugdale?" Usmaan suggested breezily.
Brinda slumped in her chair. Thinking better of the suggestion, she got up and grabbed her bag.
It would be nice to meet an old friend without any inhibitions and worries regarding the courts.
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