The Scribbler’s Orchard: PART 19

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Everything was set ready for the rituals to start. Acharya sat before the fire, he being a worshipper of fire believed that human sacrifice would get him all he wished. Mr Ahuja was there with Archarya and they were waiting for the clock to strike twelve.

Acharya said, ‘The time has come. Bring him now.’

Ahuja’s men brought a hooded man, hands tied on back, and both the legs were locked with an iron chain. He was made to sit into a pit next to the fire and his hood was removed.

‘Ismail Abdullah…’ Acharya laughed loudly and then continued, ‘The face of the nation, now to be sacrificed to fire, for the good of the bad.’
Ismail Abdullah lifted his hand up, raised his head and prayed to God, ‘Allah, let the peace prevail in this world!’ He looked into Acharya eyes first and then Ahuja and the goons there and said, ‘I promise on Allah that none of you will escape from the eyes of people. They’re watching you.’ He laughed pointing Ahuja’s men.

Acharya and Ahuja confusingly looked at the men standing before, shouted in unison, ‘Who’s the black sheep?’

Abdullah laughed again and said, ‘Before you find him, he will kill both of you.’ Irritated Acharya ordered the goons to set the pit on fire. They heard a gunshot outside, followed by one more and many more, which created confusion amongst them. Ahuja ordered his men to take away Abdullah. Acharya ordered to set him on fire. The goons just stood there confused. Ahuja kicked the ritual powder into the fire in frustration, which let out heavy smoke and the whole area became invisible to naked eyes.

Arjun and his team, entering the ritual area, ordered all of them to hands up, but because of the heavy smoke, they were unable to see anyone there. He heard someone shouting for help. He fired a shot to the rooftop and said, ‘Do not move. Stay, wherever you are. Otherwise, I’ll shoot all of you.’

They heard one more gunshot. It was not from Arjun. He stood puzzled waiting for the smoke to be cleared.

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Shekhar and Jennifer, who were waiting for Arjun outside of Ahuja’s residence, spotted people dragging Roohi into a van. They saw Cyrus on a stretcher lying half-conscious inside the van. Quickly they locked the door and the van started.

Shekhar started to run towards the van shouting his daugther’s name, but a passing car did not allow him to do that. Jennifer luckily clicked photographs of the van, the goons, Roohi and Cyrus.

Shekhar broke down into tears. Jennifer tried to pacify him. And they heard a gunshot from inside, which terrified them.

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The Scribbler’s Orchard: PART 6

To read previous parts follow the links:
PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4 | PART 5

Cyrus…Tara recalled speaking to a stranger on phone. She corrected her tone, ‘Rohan, can we meet at my place?’
‘Ma’am sure, can we meet today as in a day I’m getting married?’ Rohan conveyed his point.
‘Shekhar Dutta, The Orchard, No…’ Tara gave her address and requested him to come in half-an-hour and left for her home.
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Shekhar was almost done with his post “An analogy of me” capturing his beautiful days with the cutest flower – Roohi – all that happened till that last hour. He clicked on Publish and tweeted to his million followers. He knew the power of pen.
‘…Roohi’…he cried instantly. The doorbell was ringing, with urgency. He looked at the wall clock. Quarter past two in the afternoon.
‘It’s not Tara. She will be back only by five.’ He thought for a second…‘Roohi…’he rushed to open the door.

Tara was standing, tears frozen in her eyes. She told Shekhar about Rohan and Cyrus. Scratching his beard, Shekhar was thinking of someone who could help them at this situation. “Arjun”, a young police officer who won a gold medal for his bravery in last year New Delhi Bombings. They saw Rohan entering the gate.

Rohan’s lips curved a little, but his worried face conveyed his pain. ‘Tara?’
‘It’s better if we go inside.’ Shekhar said in a grave voice, Tara and Rohan followed.
Rohan narrated the entire episode right from the moment Cyrus landed in Mumbai, handed over all the proofs to Shekhar and pleaded them to save Cyrus.
Shekhar and Tara thanked Rohan for his help. Rohan left the place.
‘Are you going to let this information out?’ Tara asked.
‘Arjun…’ Shekhar took his mobile phone out.
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‘Arjun,’ Shekhar said.
‘Hello uncle! How are you? How’s Tara aunty and my little angel?’
‘Arjun…I need your help badly to save Roohi.’
‘Roohi…What happened to her uncle?’
Shekhar narrated the entire episode to Arjun.
‘This is something cruel uncle. Moreover this involves lives of many innocent people. It’s time to play my game.’ Arjun said.
‘I trust you Arjun. I want my daughter back.’ Shekhar paused, after a minute he continued, “I’ll forward the recordings to you. Also, I’ve got something interesting for you. We’ll talk about it in detail tomorrow.’
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Jennifer called Shekhar on his mobile phone.
‘Mr Dutta, I’m in Mumbai. I need your help to get out of this sticky situation.’ Jennifer said.
‘Tara will help you in this regard. Moreover, it all started because of me. I will put an end to this.’ Shekhar said firmly and gave the phone to Tara.
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Arjun faxed Roohi’s photograph to the head office. He ordered his team to find Roohi.

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