Joined: 31 May 2011
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The grip tightens ( Part One )
It is a dark night, with the clock striking twelve times, signalling that it is the time of midnight. Not a soul is to be seen except a few drunkards roaming here and there.
But for a certain man, he has no time to be roaming behind because of a certain group of five people who are after him for the past one hour.
The man keeps on running and finally reaches a dock. Running towards it, he dashes to hide behind some boxes just in time to avoid getting seen by those goons who are after him, with the voice of one man cutting the tranquil atmosphere.
Goon leader (quite angrily) : Yeh saala, Ramesh kidhar gaya ? Aabhi abhi toh idhar hi tha. Aise kaise gayab ho gaya ? (To the others) Dhoondo usse, woh yehi kahi hoga, agar woh CID ke paas gaya, toh samjho hum log toh gaye. Woh CID ke maamu log kutte ke tarah hote hai, woh log hume sung sung ke kutte ke maut marenge. Jao, dhoondo uss Ramesh ko aur haan, usse maar mat dena. Mujshe usse jinda chahiye.
The other goons runs off to find Ramesh. And with that, Ramesh came to know that there is no chance for him to escape alive. Sooner or later, they will find him and will kill him for sure and will take the memory card from him and then everything will be lost.
As far as he knows, this very memory card is the source of all the troubles that started all of this – right from the death of Vikash and Aakash leading to Abhijeet sir's disappearance ending with Bijinder's death. If only he can somehow send this card to its rightful owner, then even if he dies, he will come to know that his death will not go in vain. But how ? This " how" remains the biggest question. How can he send the memory card to its owner without getting caught by these goons who are after him ? But Ramesh knows that he has to somehow get out of this hell and send the card because he knows that sooner or later, they will find him and then, there's no telling what will they do to him after taking the memory card from him.
Waiting for a few minutes, he suddenly makes up his mind. Looking around cautiously from his hiding place and finding no around there, he runs towards the entrance only to get shot in his left leg.
Cursing himself, Ramesh looks back to see that one of the goons has seen him and is coming towards him. Without losing a moment notice, he runs away limping from that place, but he knows that now there's no chance of him getting out of this place alive, so somehow, he has to put the card in someone's hands, other than these goons who are now running after him.
As luck would have it, Ramesh saw a car speeding towards him which prompted Ramesh to come in front of the car forcing the driver to stop the car quite harshly.
Man (to Ramesh) : Hey you, are you drunk or blind ? Can't you see the- ( Suddenly stops on seeing Ramesh properly who by now has come limping to his window and who also becomes speechless on seeing the man at the wheels ) Ramesh, tum yaha- ( Suddenly, the man comes out of his car and opening the door of his backseat, pushes Ramesh in the back seat, and closing the door, drives away the same way through which he was coming )
Just then, the leader of the goons comes and sees only the backside of the car, which angers him.
Goon leader (angrily rounding on his minions) : Kya kar rahe the tum log ? Tum logo se ek bhi kaam theek tarah se nahi hota ? Aab boss ko kya jawaab denge ? Aur tum log yaha khaare khaare mera-
Goon 1 (suprised) : Par boss, woh humara boss hi tha.
Goon leader (looks at them bewilderedly) : Kya, tumhara dimaag toh theek hai ? Yeh kya bol rahe ho ? Humare boss yaha kyun aayenge ? Tumne jaroor kisi aur ko dekha hoga.
Goon 2 (quite convincingly) : Nahi boss. Woh humare boss hi the aur unhone hum logo ko ishara karke humare aadde par jaane ko kaha hai.
Goon leader (looking dubiously at the two) : Theek hai, aab chalo. Jo hoga dekha jayega.
All of them moves away, with their leader giving a backward glance towards the road where the car has gone taking away Ramesh. If that man had really been their boss as claimed by the two, then there's no place for worry. But, however if not, then there's no telling what will happen to them if their boss finds out.
Ramesh could not believe his luck and from the sight of it, it looks like that fate is on his side at that time.
One thing, he could not understand was that how did anyone find out his real identity, that he is the informer of CID. He could not help thinking that perhaps someone on his side is from their side, yes, that may happen, otherwise there have been no chance of his cover being blown out.
Besides, now he knows that from now on, he will have to live his life forever watching his back, since anyone can stab it.
However, his thoughts comes to an end when he hears the voice of his saviour.
Man : Ramesh, tum theek hona ? Aur toh khoon nahi beh raha hai ?
Ramesh (noticing his shot leg) : Haan sir, theek hu. Khali dard ho raha hai.
Man (satisfied) : Tab theek hai. Abhi hospital mein jakkar sirf goli nikalna baaki hai.
Ramesh (alarmed) : Nahi, sir. Main hospital bilkul nahi jaane waala. Woh log mujshe dhoondte dhoondte waha tak pohoj jayenge. Tab toh-
Man : Ramesh, kuch nahi hoga tumhe. Main wahi pe rahunga tumhare saath. Tum ghabrao nahi.
Ramesh : Tab toh sir, aap ki jaan ko bhi khatra ho sakta hai.
Man (laughing softly) : Khatra aur mere jaan ko ? Ramesh, tumhe pata bhi hai main abhi kya kar raha hoon ? Agar pata hota toh tum aisa nahi bolte. Aur waise bhi woh log kaun the jo tumhare peeche paara tha ? Tumne woh phirse tumhara purana dhaanda toh shuru nahi kaar kiya ?
Ramesh (embarassedly) : Kya sir, aap bhi na ? ( Becomes more embarassed when he sees the man's reflection on the glass window smiling softly )
The car comes to a stop near a hospital and the man takes Ramesh inside by holding his shoulder when Ramesh stops prompting the man to look enquiringly at him.
Ramesh : Sir, aap yaha se jayiye. Main khud hi chala jayunga. Aap chinta maat kijiye.
The man looks at Ramesh for a few seconds suspiciously because of his sudden change and finally moves away, never noticing that Ramesh slipped the memory card in his trench coat's pocket.
Just before reaching the entrance, the man turns and looks back at Ramesh, suddenly getting a overwhelming feeling that perhaps this is the last time seeing Ramesh. And then, the man gets the worst shock of his life when Ramesh suddenly comes upto him limping and holds both his hands in his shaking hands with a soft look in his eyes.
Ramesh : Sir, aap aapna khayaal rakhiyega. Pata nahi, par mera dil bohot ghabra raha hai. Sir, please, dekhte rahiyega kahi aap kisi muskil mein na phaas jaaye.
The man is rendered speechless by Ramesh's advice. How can he come to know what's happening to him ? Yet, he knows that, though Ramesh has given him such advice, he does not know his real purpose of his being here, knowing full well that if someone came to knew of it, then it will endanger the lives of those whose lives are closely interwined with his. And who knows, what may happen after that ?
Before any more worse thoughts could invade his mind, he sends Ramesh off to the doctor before paying in advance and moves off towards his destination, neither one of them noticing a shadow among the shadows.
Unhappy times never seem to end but looks like its going to stretch on for ever robbing one's hope and spreading despair all around and that's how Daya felt. Looking at the moon from the window of his house, he could not believe that already three days have passed and there's still no sign of Abhijeet. It was as if he has vanished into thin air without a trace leaving nothing but memories, as if there was no existence of a person named Abhijeet. He has checked everywhere for the possibility of Abhijeet's existence but so far, he has not got anything- right from his house to his bank accounts, everything has been wiped clean as if there was nothing there in the first place.
How can this be possible ? It was as if there was no one called Abhijeet. At this rate, one will think that he is nothing but a memory. Something does not feel right. The way Vikash died alongwith Aakash leading to Abhijeet's disappearance, the appearance of someone named Arthur Cross and then the girl named Raiha who died alongwith the death of Bijinder, the chain of events which have occurred one after another leading to more and more deaths, makes it look like something big is happening or is about to happen somewhere without their knowledge. But what and where remains the biggest question.
Daya's maze of thoughts comes to an end when he hears the sound of his door bell ringing. Moving his eyes towards the wall clock, he jumps out of the bed. Who will be coming this late at night and that too at two in the morning. Remembering the thoughts which came to his mind previously about the chain of events, he opens the door cautiously only to see his informer, Riyaz, who is looking around fearfully and cautiously.
The moment Daya opens the door, Riyaz bolts inside and closes the door and without speaking a single word, he takes Daya to his study room.
Daya (noticing Riyaz who is looking as if he has seen a ghost) : Riyaz, tum aabhi iss waqt ? Kya hua ? Tum itna ghabraye hue kyun ho ?
Riyaz : Aare sir, ek bohot baari garbaar ho gaya hai abhi abhi Highway 16 pe. Main waha se kisi bhi tarah se apni jaan bachake yaha tak aaya hoon aur yeh kaafi hai. Main nahi jaanta main ki kitna der tak bachne waala hoon kyunki mujshe lagta hai ki shayaad unn logo ne mujshe dekh liya hai.
Daya (urgently) : Par baat kya hai ?
Riyaz : Highway 16 pe Abhijeet sir ke ek aur khabri ka maut ho gaya hai aur woh bhi abhi abhi aur mere akhon ke saamne. Main waha se gujaar hi raha tha ki tabhi ek truck ne Dinesh ko dhok diya. Maine usse hospital mein leke gaya bhi par doctor ka kehna hai ki uska maut pehle hi ho chuka hai.
On hearing this, Daya gets the worst shock of his life. Dinesh was one of the best informer of Abhijeet who has never failed him until now. First Vikash, now Dinesh. Wthout any doubt, it means they knew something related to Abhijeet and one by one, his informers are being wiped out of the way. Is Raiha, the girl who used to go to Vikash and who brought the sale papers of Abhijeet's house, also an informer of his ? Who and why are they killing Abhijeet's informers one by one ? By the looks of it, it seems that someone somewhere does not want the whereabouts of Abhijeet to be found at any cost and even if it means killing some people who are in their way.
However, the voice of Riyaz rouses him back to his senses.
Riyaz : Sir, haan, ek aur baat hai.
Daya (urgently) : Kya baat ?
Riyaz : Jab main hospital se nikl hi raha tha tabhi maine Ramesh ko waha dekha tha ek aadmi ke saath. Woh aadmi wohi tha jo aapne mujse sketch diya tha…….. kya naam tha…. (trying to remember ) ….. haan wohi Arthur Cross.
Daya (shocked) : Tumne Arthur ko waha Ramesh ke saath dekha tha ???
Riyaz : Haan sir. Aur toh sir woh Ramesh Arthur ke saath jaisa bartaab kar raha tha jaise ki woh Ramesh Arthur ka koi kareebi dost ho.
Aur haan, ek baat mujshe kuch bohot hi ajeeb laga. Woh Ramesh ne Arthur ke coat ke pocket mein kuch chupke se diya tha. Yeh toh mijshe maloom nahi ki kya diya tha na hi mujshe yeh maloom ki yeh baat Arthur ko pata hai bhi ya nahi ki usske pocket mein Ramesh ne kuch diya hai.
Daya : Dekh Riyaz. Tumhe pakka maloom hai ki woh dono Ramesh aur Arthur hi tha ?
Riyaz : Aare haan sir. Mujsh paar biswaas nahi hai kya. Woh dono Ramesh aur Arthur hi tha…. ( Suddenly remembering ) Aur haan sir, woh Ramesh ke paer par shayaad goli laga tha kyunki uske pant par bohot khoon laga hua tha. Phir woh Ramesh aander chala gaya aur woh Arthur aapne gaari mein chala gaya. Aur andhera ke karan main uss gaari ka number nahi dekh paaya.
Daya : Koi baat nahi, Riyaz. Woh baat hum log pata lag alenge. Tumne bohot aacha kaam kiya. Aur woh hospital Apollo hospital hai, hai na ?
Riyaz : Haan sir. Highway 16 mein toh sirf wohi ek hi hospital hai.
Daya : Theek hai, Riyaz. Tum aab ja sakte ho par haan, sambhalke jaana.
Riyaz (smiling wryly) : Kya sir. Aap bhi na ? Humara kaam hi toh kuch aisa hai. Toh main chalta hoon sir.
And with that, Riyaz moves out of Daya's house after accepting the payment from him into the silent night.
The next day turned out to be a cloudy day withy no chance for the sun to show up, making the weather gloomy. Just like his mind, Daya muses, looking through the window while driving his quallis to the bureau.
Already three days had come and gone past by with no sign of Abhijeet, leaving doubts in the mind of others as to whether he is alive or dead, unlike in the words of Fredricks, who have maintained a strong belief ever since the sudden disappearance of Abhijeet is that according to him, their Abhijeet sir is alive somewhere. But where ? They can only take consolation in the fact that uptil now, no news of Abhijeet's death is printed in any newspapers or reported in any news except for his resignation, giving way to more reviews and speculations, each one giving their own opinions. The media persons have almost burst into the CID bureau on getting wind of the news of Senior Inspector Abhijeet's resignation. It was Ajay who has most calmly maintained the media persons telling them that the resignation of Abhijeet was strictly between him and the headquarters and no one is told about the news, they only coming to know about the resignation and not about the reason. But in time, they will be told about the reason for sudden resignation and then the news will be passed on to the media. And till then, Ajay requested the media persons not to print any rubbish about the resignation as the real reason is not known to anyone.
Daya have to thank Ajay for his speech towards the media by maintaining a calm appearance. He does not even know what he would have done if he had been in Ajay's place. He found his eyes blinking in surprise, when he found himself at the gate of the bureau. Entering the bureau, he is greeted by the sight of his subordinates who are looking worriedly at their senior Ajay, who is busy talking on the official phone of the CID bureau, with ACP Pradyuman nowhere to be seen. Seeing their condition, Daya decided to take the initiative.
Daya (to Sachin) : Kya hua Sachin ? ACP sir kaha hai ?
Sachin (worriedly ) : Pata nahi sir. Jab hum log aaye the, tab bhi ACP sir nahi the aur Ajay sir tabse phone par hai. Kaafi tension mein lagte hai.
Suudenly, all turns their attention towards Ajay who has ended the call, with Daya taking the initiative.
Daya (to Ajay) : Kya hua ?
Ajay (sighing) : Khabar bohot bura hai. ( Now more to himself ) Pata nahi yeh sab ho kya raha hai.
Fredricks (alarmingly) : Kahi ACP sir ko kuch-
Ajay (interrupting) : Nahi Fredricks. ACP sir ko kuch nahi hua hai. Baat kuch alaag hi hai. Baat yeh hai ki mujshe khabar mili hai ki teen jagah pe kaash pari hui hai. Aaj subaah apne hi ghar mein ek aadmi ko kisine maarke chala gaya. Aur Highway 16 pe ek laash para hua hai aur toh aur Juhu beach ke paas ek baandh factory mein bhi poora ka poora paach laash para hua hai.
All are shocked to hear the news. Dead bodies in three places all at once. What is happening ?
Suudenly a voice cuts through the silent atmosphere, startling all of them. Looking back, all turns to see that it is none other than their senior ACP Pradyuman with a expression of utter disbelief on his face.
ACP (shocked) : Yeh kya keh raho tum Ajay ?
Ajay (sighing) : Wohi toh problem hai sir. ( Now looks directly at ACP's eyes ) Sir, aapko kuch ajeeb nahi lagta ki yeh saare maut Abhijeet ke gayaab hone ke baad hi kuch jyaada ho raha hai. Mujshe toh daar hi lag raha hai ki kahi yeh laashein kahi Abhijeet ka khabriyon ka na ho.
Though nobody spoke a word, all knew they were thinking about the same. What if Ajay's fear turns into reality ?
ACP ( suddenly looks at all ) : Sachin, tum Nikhil aur Kajal ke saath uss factory pe jao. Aur Daya, tum Vivek aur Fredricks ko lekar Highway 16 pe jao. Tab tak main aur Ajay pehle waali laash pe jaata hoon. Aur haan, sab ek doosre ke saath contact mein rehna . Yeh sab kuch koi saazish bhi ho sakta hai. Kyun pata nahi par mujshe aisa kyun lag raha hai ki kuch na kuch garbaar hone waala hai. Sab hoshiyaar rehna aur haan, sambhalke jaana.
All moves out towards their designated tasks, not knowing what fate has in store for them in the next few hours, not knowing that their troubles have only will begin to start, resulting in a cat and mouse game, with their lives hanging on the balance.
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