The Scribbler's Orchard: Part 25

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Team Name: Scribbler's Orchard
Read the previous parts of the story here -  Part 1 | Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 Part 20 | Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 |

Shekhar opened his eyes in a dark room with only the sun rays entering through the mihrab in the wall. As his eyes tried to accommodate to the darkness of the room, he felt that his hands and legs were tightly tied to the back of a chair which thus restricted any movement. Jennifer was tied on a chair lying unconscious next to him but Tara was nowhere to be seen. "Maybe she's still at the PM's office and is not even aware of his captivity", he thought to himself. He tried to look around to know where they were being held. It was a red sandstone room with pillars supporting the high ceiling with inscriptions on the pillars in Persian and Urdu. He started to figure out that it's a tomb when suddenly, the sound of qawwali from a nearby Dargah filled in the atmosphere. Jennifer disturbed his thought process and said, "Where are we?" "I think Humayun Tomb. Listen carefully, you can hear the qawwali from the Nizamuddin Dargah. I have been there before."

Listening to the noises, the door opened and a figure entered the room. Sudden light blinded Shekhar but the sight afterwards left him dumb as well. Two masked men entered the room and placed a chair in front of the figure. A well-built tall man dressed up in a white robe entered the room and sat across the two with his face still in dark. The person signalled the men to leave the room and sat down. "So where should we begin, Shekhar. I guess you have something which you shouldn't be having, right Jennifer?", asked the man. Jennifer blurted, "Who are you? What do you want?"
"Maybe Roohi will be able to tell you what do I want, Shekhar!"
"Where's my daughter?", shouted Shekhar, his face red with anger and tears hiding at the corner of the eyes.
"She's safe for now. You don't have to worry about her yet. Now tell me where are the photographs?"
"I need to see Roohi first."
Acharya signalled and his men brought Tara in the room, her hands tied behind her head. They pushed Tara down and she fell in front of Acharya's feet. Shekhar almost shouted in shock. He began thinking how did they get her as she was with the PM in a high security office when he last saw her. They might have done something to the PM as well. Something seemed so off to him regarding this. How!!
"For now, you only get to see her. And even that will not be for long. Either give me the photographs or watch her die!", pointing the gun towards her head.
"Why are you doing this? My baby and my wife! Why?"
"This is all for the greater good Shekhar. This mission is way above us and you both were never meant to be a part of this. But you got involved with Jennifer and the photographs. I had to take your daughter but you didn't stop. Maybe you don't love your daughter and your wife! Should I?", he said mocking to shoot Tara.
Jennifer saw an opportunity as the two were arguing and tried to pick up a old wooden block lying near her chair with her toes. Just as her toe touched the block, Acharya suddenly shot towards her foot. The bullet missed the target and hit the block instead. Jennifer squeaked in fear and Shekhar shouted, "What the hell are you doing? What is this stupidity? What mission?"
"Now you give me the photographs you have or I will have to endanger her life for now!", said Acharya pointing the gun towards Tara, "and I'll not miss this time!"
"Don't you dare! I need a laptop. I have uploaded them on my dropbox. Take all of it, you monster!"
Acharya signalled and one of the masked men brought a laptop to Shekhar. "Don't you dare play any games Shekhar. No more stupidity of yours!", but Shekhar had already thought of a plan and even he wouldn't miss this time. 

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In an adjoining room, a large fire was set up. Acharya entered the room and, after performing some rituals, sat in front of the fire. A lady brought Roohi into the room and made her sit next to the Acharya. He asked her to fold her hands in front of the fire and pray to the God. "But there's no God here like the ones we have at home", argued Roohi. She was finally opening up with him for he was the only person who was being nice to her in so many days. He smiled at her innocence. "I have to teach you a lot sweety", keeping his hand gently on her head he said, "Fire is the only God, our true God" and handed her the fruit basket which she had been eyeing ever since she entered the room. He started chanting the mantras and explaining their meaning to her while she sat next to him, ignorant and protected. 

Behind them, lay the Ulema of Jama Masjid with his hands tied to a large pillar and cloth stuffed in his mouth, prepared for the sacrifice.

Read the next part of the story here

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