Team: Alphabet Soup.
Read the previous chapter on Finitha’s blog.
Manu! This is Aryan Ahuja. The antique dealer whom we went to meet in
Mumbai!” said a surprised Inspector Ravi.
“Aryan? But Ravi, this is Manu. He himself
told me that and I recognize him as I remember seeing him here in the village
before”, said an equally shocked Sudheeran Varma.
Both of them kept staring at him. “Now that
your game is over will you care to explain? What is this all about?” Ravi kept
firing his questions on him.
“I will”, he replied with an evil
“Yes I am Manu. But as I told Sudheeran a little while ago I left the
village as my father didn’t allow me to sell the idol. I was fed up of this
poor life and I wanted to be rich. I had my own dreams. So I left this village
for good and I went to Mumbai. I had dreams but I had no money. I somehow
managed to get a job in the house of a famous antique dealer in Mumbai. I
worked as a domestic help there. But kind as he was, he would give me a good
salary and also taught me about his trade. Since I wanted to sell the real
idol, the things that he told me made perfect sense. He began trusting me and
one day after stealing money from his house, I ran away from there. I went to
another corner of Mumbai. I changed my name to Aryan Ahuja as I didn’t want to
be caught. I set up an antiques store and bought myself a new house. “
neighbour. I never knew how useful he would turn out to be in informing me about
the temple festival, but I was friendly with him only because I didn’t want to
raise any suspicions. And then it was through him that I got more information
about this year’s procession and since I pretended to show interest in the
various festivals around the country, he gave me all the details and readily
shared his travel plans. Even after he reached here, he kept me updated about
all the happenings and hence I knew about each activity. Now that the chosen
one was also there, I decided it was time to retrieve the idol and so I came
kidnapping Roohi and was Cyrus involved in this?”quizzed Sudheeran.
tried my best to disguise myself so that the villagers wouldn’t recognize me.
It wasn’t very difficult. That puny skull of a Manu was very different from
what I am today. I had to kidnap Roohi.”
“But when I got to know she had already been kidnapped, I was puzzled. After
that, she was kept hidden from me. But with a little more prodding, Shekhar
told me where she was. After all, I am his best friend.” Said Manu while a
sinister smile appeared on his face.
“Now, I just had to stumble upon the
duo. I called Cyrus up casually and we met. He likes his father’s friends a
lot. Roohi recognized me at once. But I didn’t want all of you to know that I was
in the village. So at that moment I decided that Roohi must be kidnapped. But
the problem was Cyrus. It was difficult for me to run away with only Roohi. So
I invited both of them to my room and Cyrus didn’t hesitate to come to my room
with Roohi. We got along well and he spoke about his father and his case
Cyrus, who being an emotional fool fell for it and indulged him further.
“I dream to start my own business.”
dealer. My dreams didn’t come true.”
“So, aren’t you happy with your work Aryan uncle?” Cyrus asked innocently.
“I am. I am. It is but a means to the end I want. I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up
where I needed to be. Enough of my
philosophy. Eat those sweets. Roohi beta! Come, eat.”
Not knowing that he had laced it with some sedatives, both of them ate it and
fell asleep. He tied them up in the meantime.
He took Roohi with him into the temple passageway that ran underground. He knew
the chamber that would be most unlikely to be found. He tied the child to a
chair in the chamber and went back to get Cyrus.
“I don’t owe
you any explanations. Now do as I say.”
gave a piece of paper to him and asked him to read it out into the phone.
it out convincingly. Else, the child dies” Manu had threatened Cyrus.
all will be searching for Cyrus. By the time they find Cyrus and clear the
misunderstanding, Manu who was disguised under the name Aryan Ahuja would be on
his way to prosperity.
threatened Cyrus and forced him to walk to the temple without giving a fight.
Once they were in, the rest was easy. He just had to leave Cyrus in an
unventilated chamber. He would suffocate and die before they found him. The
truth about ‘Aryan Ahuja’ would die with him.
would take the child out through the passage and leave. It was all perfect.
they were walking towards the chamber, Cyrus said, “Stop doing this Aryan
uncle. You are my dad’s friend. Whatever your problems are, we will sort them
out. I won’t speak a word about this to anyone else. Spare the girl. Please
listen to me. No
matter how far you have gone on the wrong road, turn back.”
expertise. Yours is to blindly trust people. Just walk.”
shut the door. Once the doors were shut, the chambers were sound-proof.
events. Now the pieces of the puzzle fell into place perfectly.