Operation Checkmate

Continued from “The Gatecrasher”

When it was 4 P.M the D-day, though Dhruva was raring to go, Rani was in no hurry to desert her dressing table; but when he began hurrying her, as she hastened down the stairs, she slipped on the staircase. Even though she said that she was fine, yet he drove her to the Hyderabad Nursing Home, where the doctor ruled out even a hairline fracture, but ignoring her pleas to be taken along with him, he sent her home with Raju, whom he brought along with them.

Shortly thereafter, reaching the nearby Tank Bund, he quickly made it to the Siddhendrayogi statue, and seeing the white Maruti Zen in the parking bay, he realized that the game was on though there was none to be seen around. But even before he could settle down on the lawns aside the majestic statue, Ranjit drove his Audi into the same parking bay, and alighting from his car with two bulging travel bags, and visibly nervous, he passed by Dhruva towards the nearby Tanesha statue. Soon, beginning in trickles, as people started flocking to the place to occupy vantage points on the sprawling lawns as well as on the tank-side benches, as if on cue, a handful of fast food vendors descended upon the scene to spread all over; even as they were trying to induce those present to taste their recopies, the toy-wallahs, who followed them, did not lag behind in tempting the kids with fancy playthings.

When a fast food vendor, apparently in disguise, posited his chaat basket near the Tanesha statue, seeing him ill at ease in the calling, Dhruva knew that he was indeed the one to be marked. As the sun began to set on the Hussainsagar Lake, the vendor went up to Ranjit and preparing some chaat, he began chitchatting with him; soon, handing over the stuff in a paper-plate to Ranjit, the imposter, on the sly, passed on his mobile to him. With a satisfied look on his face as Ranjit unzipped both the travel bags, elated, the guy took away the mobile from him, and having connected it to someone; he gave it back to Ranjit, who seemed relieved as he held it to his ear. But as Ranjit tended to hold on to it, the guy snatched it away from him, and waited in the wings without taking his eyes off him. Soon, when it got a little darker, he signaled to Ranjit to go down the staircase in the backside that led to the road below; so when Ranjit picked up the luggage and ventured into the vault of that staircase, the guy called someone on his mobile; and abandoning his wares as is where, as he too followed suit, Dhruva reached for his mobile.

Shortly thereafter the detective noticed a young woman, her face hidden in the pallu of her sari, emerge from the staircase and walk towards the Maruti Zen, and discerning the excitement in her nervous gait, he knew that she was the accomplice of Kavya’s captor. However, arraigning her was not a part of the Operation Checkmate, he let her drive away in the white Maruti Zen; moreover, without espying her visage, yet he had experienced an unusual empathy for her.

Soon thereafter, as Ranjit too passed him by with Kavya, his eyes followed her all the way to the Audi; what with her glowing persona and pleasing poise, even in that dull setting, appealed to his romanticism, he could not help but divine her provocative figure in her evocative gait; and finding her enchanting in her state of confusion, he began wondering how enticing she could be in the moments of her excitation. So, when Shakeel called him to inform him about the capture of the kidnapper, he was still under the mesmeric spell of Kavya’s ethereal charms that paled his photographic visualizations into insignificance.

However, the breaking news from Shakeel that the culprit turned out to be Pravar diverted his mind to the mysterious Radha, the suspected murderess. Amazed though at the development, he turning business-like, wanted the cop to send someone to pick up Pravar’s chaat basket, whatever be its forensic worth; and waiting for a constable to come to pick up the thing, he called up Rani to enquire about the state of her ‘leggy self’. Learning that she was jumping like a jack and was eager for the news, as he apprised her of the developments, she blamed him for having deprived her thrill of participation; and having cajoled her; he said in half jest that he hoped she would not hold it against him to deny him the thrill of their nocturnal indulgences. 

Continued to “Foul on Pravar”


More by :  BS Murthy

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