Thursday, September 25, 2014

Jeep and Bourbon, Part 16 #Celebrateblogging

Read the previous part of the story here 

J for Jealousy(Chapter 16)

Manhattan - New York City 

Jeremy was smiling to himself.

It was a wicked smile. He had just received a Whatsapp message from Cyrus.

"Plan re-booted"

Till this point in his life, he didn't know that he could be this wicked. Sure, he had played a lot of practical jokes in his youth and some of them have not been well received, but this was big. Yeah, it was big. He felt like patting himself on the shoulder for the great work done.

He kept on smiling the wicked smile.

Having lived in Manhattan almost all his life, he had the supreme luxury of owning an apartment overlooking Central park. It was green wherever he looked. Oh, how he loved the greens! He sat in the open terrace of his apartment, staring at the greenery ahead. He felt like drinking some coffee, but he didn't want to get up and lose the wonderful view. So he kept sitting and...smiling and....thinking.

What a fool Cyrus had been! Like with any other guy looking for some easy cash, he hadn't even asked what he was going to do and why. How easy it had been to trap that guy! He thought he was doing all this for a friend. Wait, what friend? Friends don't take money from each other, do they? Cyrus was not worthy of being a friend and that's exactly why he was the center-piece of the plan.

Tara....ooooooh Tara. How he loved her. How he has always loved her. It is not like he hasn't been with other women, but they weren't Tara. There was something so exotic about her. The way she always looked for brains rather than brawns. That is what set her apart from other girls -  like Jenny.

Jenny.....sure she was good looking and attractive....but she was no Tara. She didn't have her intelligence or her personality. All she had was this insane craze to capture everything she came across on her camera. And those tattoos! It has been fun with her though. She was quite different from the others. He thought of all the wild nights they have had and his smile became wider.

He thought of Kochi when he had deliberately landed up at Jenny's home-stay with a plan. ;)

She certainly hadn't had any problems with hooking up with him -  her friend's ex-boyfriend. What kind of a friend was she anyway? Didn't she think that it would be awkward for all of them to go on a trip together? Or did she do it deliberately? Was there a side to Jenny she didn't show to anybody? Was she...jealous?

Aaahhh...jealousy! He was familiar with that feeling. He felt jealous all the time. He felt jealous of the fact that Tara had a husband and a kid. Well, who cares about the kid? She had a husband, who had the privilege of looking at her everyday. Why just looking? He had the supreme privilege of touching her. She was his wife.

How he wanted to destroy that family so bad. He wanted Tara only to himself. He had always wanted Tara only to himself. When he had come back to NY from India he had thought that he would be okay with losing her.

But he wasn't.

He was in pain everyday. Excruciating pain. A type of pain which ate him up from inside. He blamed his mother for sending him to a college in India. Why did she need to do that? Just because she was an Indian she had to send everybody to India! What was she thinking? Did she think that Jeremy would become an expert on Indian culture if he went there? He sure didn't!

Thank god his parents were away from him now, living in Staten Island. That's where they belonged and that's where they should be. He didn't want to see them. He didn't need their money. He had all the money in the world now. And as the saying goes - money can buy you everything! Probably even love.


Bangalore - India

Jenny was busy packing. She was trying to put some t-shirts inside the suitcase but she was finding it hard to accomplish this simple task. Damn it! She couldn't concentrate. She was thinking of all the things she hadn't told Cyrus. How going to Mumbai was all a part of her "plan". Aryan Ahuja was a good excuse to go there, a delicious excuse rather.

She knew that Jeremy and Tara were in love in college. How could she not know? She was her best friend. But Tara had been married and settled for years. It was Jenny who was single and in desperate need of a boyfriend. Sometimes she felt jealous of the fact that Tara had a loving family to herself. Not that she wanted a family, but yeah a boyfriend for sure! And Jeremy had come at the right time.

She had given little thought to the fact that the man was her friend's ex-boyfriend. Come on, Tara was married now. Why would she care? It not only felt good, but super exciting as well. There was something so liberating in doing something so called "forbidden". This was her life after all. She could do whatever she wanted.

However, while waiting for Cyrus to get well at the hospital, she had thought hard and well about the night at the beach. Jeremy and Tara had disappeared at the same time. At the....same time.

She had called Jeremy from the hospital, to ask him about his "disappearance". To her surprise, he was on his way back to NYC. Why was he escaping? What had he done? Did his quick exit had something to do with Tara? Did she have something to do with the fact that Jeremy had abandoned her and had gone back to his native country?

She didnt know for sure. But she knew that something must have happened....on the beach. She had decided not to ask Tara anything about it then because Shekhar was still recuperating. Sitting in the cold and grey hospital corridors, she had come up with a plan of her own.

A plan which would reveal everything.

Read the next chapter here

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Jeep and Bourbon, Part 9 #Celebrateblogging

Read the previous part of the story here 

Life's mysteries (Chapter 9)

They did not talk much after that but their eyes reflected a thousand emotions. There were a series of events and actions – Rewind, Fast Forward, Pause and finally a Stop. This conveyed the intended message. From now onwards Shekhar decided that he would get back to writing and come what may, he said to himself,  “I will not stop till I reach the goal”.
Shekar had recovered very well from the accident. Being discharged from the hospital, the family started their journey straight back home. Kochi would have to wait.  Tara and Shekhar along with Roohi had boarded a train back to their beloved metro city, Mumbai. Their small apartment back in the quaint colony at the heart of the city was calling them.
As their old yellow taxi inched through the chock-a-block traffic, innocent little Roohi sat cuddled besides her father, looking out of the window. The taxi screeched to a halt at yet another signal and Roohi watched the sight rolling past her slow down and come to a stop too. The pleasant evening sunset had sent a pink hue through the skyline. The familiar sight of dirty, crowded roads and bus stops, shops,etc, for once, seemed welcoming to her.
When their taxi arrived at their small building apartment, neighbours flooded towards them, sending a volley of questions towards them. Tara and Shekhar somehow managed to alight from the cab, unload their luggage and simultaneously answered some of the questions. Pushing and shoving through the crowd they managed to reach their home.
Shekhar was too tired to even try and figure out what was happening around them.  Tara held Roohi close to herself and cried her eyes out. After she had calmed down, Roohi quietly started assisting her with clearing the mess they had left behind while leaving for their Kochi holiday.
The bubbly,pony tailed Roohi within no time was back to living her old life, as if nothing had happened over the last couple of days. She, in fact, was unaware about what her parents were going through.
Roohi picked up the remote to surf her favourite cartoon channel and she spotted a cookery channel. She stopped by it and started watching the show. To her surprise it was a "Kid's Cooking series" where the Chef taught little ones to make quick and easy recipes with bread. A thought suddenly struck her and she ran to the fridge. She hunted for the ingredients and shouted ," Mama ,is there any bread at home?".
Tara replied," No baby, I'm yet to stock grocery and other eatables ".
Roohi then quickly ran in to kitchen pantry to check for something she could find there. Luckily she found a few packets of her favorite instant noodles which her father made for her, to calm her sudden food cravings when her Mama was out. She took them out and broke them into pieces, as she'd seen Papa do. She added it to a big dish, poured water and masala from the packets given in it. She put it on the flame and waited for it to be done, thinking her parents would be so happy. Suddenly there was a scream from her parents’ room. 
What could it be? 
Roohi rushed towards the source of the screaming. It was Shekhar sitting with his laptop. He was smiling but his eyes had tears. He drew Roohi, who was still shocked at her Papa's behaviour, in his arms. He was excited. Words were not coming out of his mouth. 
“Let me show you something” he said to them.
It was mail from a renowned publisher, congratulating him for his collection of writing they had selected to publish.

Shekhar could not believe his own eyes and screamed with utter joy. Tara who was busy in the other room heard the cry and came rushing as she was worried that something might have happened to her husband. Then she had found out that it was not the cry for help but the cry of joy.
They all were happy. But life had still not opened all its cards. Life is unpredictable. Just when one starts to believe everything's fine now, there comes a new twist. The Duttas didn't know that their  miseries were still not over. Some shocking revelations were still to come, which would be more painful, more devastating, more shocking than they'd experienced still now. 

Cyrus had also been discharged from the hospital. Jenny took him to Bangalore. They had developed a bond, a strange one. They were together. But why they didn't know. But they would know it soon. Let us wait for life to reveal its layers.

Read the next part of the story here 

 “Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

Monday, September 8, 2014

Private India - Book review

When one of the greatest authors in the world comes together with one of the best Indian authors, you expect not just a great book, but a book that will change your lives. I am talking about James Patterson, author of the riveting "Alex Cross" and "Women's Murder Club" series and Ashwin Sanghi, author of mythological thrillers like "The Krishna Key" and "Chanakya's Chant" . The book in question is "Private India" and is a part of James Patterson's "Private" series.

The book is about a serial killer committing non-stop murders in Mumbai. His targets are successful independent women and his murders are ritualistic in terms of their nature. "Private India" is the detective agency assigned to catch the killer and it is headed by Santosh Wagh - a man with a very troubled past. He is ably supported by Nisha Gandhe, an ex-CID officer. The rest of his team includes Mubeen, a forensic investigator and Hari, a computer wizard. There is also ACP Rupesh Desai, who used to be Santosh's best friend at one time. Now they have fallen apart and don’t even like to talk to each other. However, the reason behind their fall-out is revealed later in the book and it is quite the surprise. 

The plot is quite similar to a Bollywood movie which starred a “serial kisser” actor in the lead and came out a few years ago. It can be easily guessed which movie I am talking about. However in spite of the similarities, the book keeps you on the hook. You just want to keep on reading and reading till you get to know who the killer is.

While the book runs at a breakneck speed and you are not just able put it down, there is something which is still missing. There is a terrorism sub-plot running which you hardly care for. The only things you want to know are 1) who is the killer and 2)why is he killing. Anything else is just a hurdle which you have to quickly jump through. The twist before the climax is truly a shocking one and readers might need a minute or two to take in the identity of the killer.

Other than the main characters, the book also includes a corrupt god-man, greedy government officials and NGO workers, a little bit of bollywood and even an underworld don. All in all, the book is like a “masala” hindi movie with all the right ingredients. It surely won’t be a surprise if this movie is turned into a movie soon! 

A big plus point of the book is that the identity of the killer is a huge surprise and is bound to take the readers by shock. Private India can be classified as "pure entertainment" and the loopholes are meant to be ignored. This is no literary fiction because it is not meant to be. This book is highly recommended for people who are looking for a fast-paced read or are in love with mystery and suspense novels. 

Rating - 3.5/5

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