Continued from “Stockholm Syndrome”
When Rani proposed a trip to Ooty to let him bide his time as she did his bidding, Dhruva pitched in for ‘train journey’, but as she wanted to ‘air dash’ so as not to ‘lose time’, they boarded an Indian Airlines flight that very evening. Upon landing at the airport, on their way to a star-hotel, even as the serene surroundings of the hill resort refreshed his mind, her innate romanticism too insensibly enamored his heart; and once ensconced in the hotel suite, making it their love nest, they rarely ventured out of it.
Soon, amidst the ‘time of their lives’, Ranjit him rang up to lament over the ugly turn of the events in his vexatious life.
Kavya went to the Cherlapalli jail to apologize to Pravar for what had happened, and as the culprit played up to her psyche by exaggerating his plight, she became obsessive about earning him a reprieve, and disregarding his objection, she took up her ex-captor’s vakalat, making him wonder where all that would lead her to; so he was at a loss as to how to wean her away from that vagabond.
Dismayed at the unforeseen development, Dhruva said that it was better that Ranjit kept his cool for the best course of action seemed to be inaction then; he also advised him to leave her alone until she got over her obsession for any hurdles he might place in her way could only buttress her resolve to surmount them, leading her to a disastrous end. Though he tried to shore up Ranjit’s spirits, he himself was saddened that the beauty he coveted has come under the emotional grip of the beast of his own creation, he couldn’t warm up even to Rani he began to love.
However, as he began to resign himself to her fate, making it a double jeopardy for him, soon, a furious Shakeel rang him up to recount how Kavya had hauled him over the coals in the court hall on Pravar’s account. She urged the judge to take note of the fact that Pravar was a petty thief and not a mafia don as is being made out by the police, and drove home the point that as he was the sole accused, it was inconceivable that he single-handedly ran a multi-crore fake-notes racket. Besides, arguing that Shakeel had foisted a false case on her client; she suggested that the cop could’ve seized the booty while the bootleggers gave him the slip, or who knew, he might have let them off at the behest of the powers that be; so to cover up his lapses, and to earn some false laurels, he made Pravar the fall guy.
That was not all, she produced Natya in the court, who sensationally revealed that not only Kavya had stayed with Pravar and her for four days prior to his arrest but also she accompanied them to the Tank Bund in the very car in which the fake currency notes were allegedly found by the police. She also swore that having parked the car nearby Maisamma Temple, all three of them went up to the Tank Bunk to relax and recreate, and at some point, as Kavya complained of headache, Pravar went down to fetch the Saridon tablets kept in their car, and it was then that he was apprehended by the police to foist the fake-notes case on him. And that stunned all, including the judge.
What with Natya having come up trumps in the intense cross-examination that followed, there was no way the public prosecutor could have pulled the rug from under her feet as no case of kidnap was registered against Pravar or her. As the judge was quick in passing strictures against Shakeel, making him curse Dhruva for once, he nevertheless asked the public prosecutor to seek time for further investigation. Thus when the judge ordered the release of Pravar on bail, all applauded Kavya’s sterling performance, and as a grateful Pravar thanked her no end, an appalled Ranjit led her out of the court hall.
Then, a dumbfounded Dhruva had to strain every nerve to convince Shakeel that their failure was owing to the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ that he had failed to factor in while fashioning the Operation Checkmate; and having vented his anger against Kayva, the cop stunned the detective by revealing, as if as an afterthought, about Pravar’s damning admission, during the interrogation, of having poisoned his sister and her lover, and vowed to book him for the double murder. However, seeing the futility of apprehending Pravar, based on his confession in police custody, for any novice of a lawyer could induce the court to set him free for want of evidence, the detective advised the cop to better guard himself against the wounded Pravar.
Nursing his self-inflicted wounds thereafter, and having realized that his meaningless obsession with Radha failed his investigative logic in heading towards Pravar, Dhruva felt ashamed of his professional incompetence. That his ill-conceived idea to bring the fake notes into the ransom play has come to derange Kavya and embarrass Shakeel has only added to his depressive feeling. Thus, with the damage done and his pride dented, he showed no inclination to return to action, though the cop was ever on the phone to goad him to be back soon.
However, as Rani was all-eager to make the best of their sojourn, in the euphoria of their whirlwind romance that rolled days and nights into one, time seemed but a fleeting moment of their passion. So, when he sought her hand in marriage, she sought to excuse herself, and perplexed by her inexplicable rebuff, he became unrelenting in his pleas; but as she disclosed that she was a married woman, he was aghast beyond belief. Nonetheless, bowled by her charms, though he insisted that she divorce her man to adorn his life, she remained unmoved, and devastated by her refusal to yield, he demanded to know what prompted her to become such a heartless flirt.
Rani’s parents hailed from Waltair, where she graduated in arts; after which as she moved over to Hyderabad, she met Ramesh, to whose advances she had readily yielded; but realizing the gravity of her transgression, she goaded him to regularize their irregular union. While he wanted time to sort out things with his parents, who were averse to their union on caste considerations, her parents were in a hurry to give her hand to Satish, who they thought was a suitable boy in every way. So, as Ramesh continued to dilly dally even though she ran out of excuses to spurn Satish’s hand, she forced the issue with her lover, who revealed that he was already a married man; and shaken to the core, she married the latter to repair her life as his wife.
What with Satish’s charm and wit inducing warmth in her jilted life, she soon got over the bitterness of her betrayed past; so they had been reaping the fruits of their conjugation, well past the seven year itch, though without laying the seeds of it, which was the only hitch in their blessed match. Maybe to make up for that lacking, as Satish got obsessed with his career to the exclusion of all else, she came to bear the brunt of her barrenness; and what’s worse, three years back, he developed an ambition to start a mega venture of his own, which only turned their home into his office in the offing. So, as courted his career with passion, keeping her libido in the cold, she began entertaining the idea of an extramarital affair.
When she made up her mind to spice up her life in a liaison, as she recalled Ramesh’s trickery, her erotic idea came to acquire a vengeful edge, inducing her to develop an urge to play a la Ramesh with a man to get even with him in the man’s world. It was then that she recalled the cop who had put her cousin Ashok’s murder under the carpet, over which he led his murderess wife to the altar, and that motivated her to avenge the foul play. But when she came to know that Mithya the killer was no more and her cop lover became Detective Dhruva, she came to see him as an ideal target for her sexual revenge as well.
While she was upbeat at that thought, coinciding with Satish’s exploratory visit to the U.S for a business tie-up, appeared Dhruva’s ad for an assistant lady sleuth; it was her idea to incite his curiosity by loitering at the gate that rainy day as a prelude to taking him into her revengeful arms. But soon, lost in his passion, she lost her appetite for revenge, and as he began to love her too, she developed an urge to bear his child; so she would have loved to make love to him until she had missed her periods, but as her man was due by the weekend; it was time she ended her sojourn with him, but for all she knew, their child might well be in the offing.
Aghast at that, as a despaired Dhruva begged her to divorce her man and marry him; she said that she would rather stick to her husband than tie up with a philanderer like him. Even though he vouched for his eternal fidelity, as she didn’t yield on the emotional ground, so as to turn her around, he played up to her ego by praising her beauty and brains no end. But unmoved still, as she said that he being a ladies’ man, there wouldn’t be any dearth of desirable mates for him, he begged her not to make it a sudden death to his ardor and continue their liaison till he could master his emotions. Still remaining unrelenting, as she said that it was no way to make the best of the hoped for change in her life, he retorted by saying that she was being cruel to him; and yet maintaining that it was part of life, she told him that he would be able to put all that behind him as soon as he fancies some dame.
Continued to “Psyche of Revenge”