February 3, 2010

Cozen - Aparajita III

No one had the same story to tell about Damini devi.

Tall, slim frame ,with hair that curled naturally in layers, eyes that could pierce through your heart, dimpled cheeks and a shy smile which tended to tilt towards the left every time she spoke. For some she was the epitome of how the young India was taking to politics - more seriously than ever before. For some,she was the next leader, for some  a comforting soul, for some the eternal support and for some - a shrewd bitch. 

Jatin had fallen in love many times,he never cared really, and had recently broken off with someone...but fate had other plans for him.

It was not until a few months later Jatin's heavy heart began to beat again the day he saw her walk into the party office of Tiranga Sangh, his eyes transfixed on her lips, his mind buzzed and his heart beat faster that day.Being the son of the party president meant he had to exercise restraint. That day Jatin probably gave the worst intra-party speech of his life, totally distracted by her presence. Damini figured that. She was an intelligent beauty.

Damini had joined from the opposition party, Kshmata Dal ,after being disillusioned by the dubious party practices. Growing up in the party ranks was not easy. Old lecherous men had offered ‘protection’ which of course came with a fee…a sleeping fee.Some had threatened her with dire consequences, some conspired secretly as they were threatened by her diminutive presence.

She quit Kshamata Dal, when there was no choice but to sleep with party president Raja Babu.

Finding time to meet was difficult considering the party preparations for the upcoming rally. Jatin had a hidden poet in him somewhere and penned a few lines for Damini on a piece of paper and Damini returned the paper with ‘I love you Jatin’ written behind those lines.As days passed Jatin was getting impatient...
Jatin was getting desperate. ‘I’ve got an idea Jatin’ twinkled Damini…

Soon rumors became a reality and before someone could say hello – or how – they had made love on a trip, to gather rural supporters for an election rally, just outside the city.
It was a hot sultry night…and it happened at midnight.

Damini took Jatin’s hand and put it on her lips. His fingers trembling, he circled her lips softly…the silly locks which kept falling on her cheeks were the only distraction.…but he wanted to get lost that day. They were breathing on each other’s lips but not touching yet. Just a few moments more of eternal bliss Jatin thought when Damini interrupted his thoughts with her lips.

The stars witnessed a raging passion. Wildfire. Damini’s nails dug into Jatin’s flesh, her eyes looking at the sky, while Jatin buried his face on her nape.. and bit passionately. Drifting ever so carefully and caressed her ear lobes. Their bodies rose in unison and climaxed with Damini clasping Jatin s fingers to stop the shivering….

He held her tightly like never before…and never after…

It was just before dawn..as they lay watching the stars, Damini whispered
`hey my angry young man –where are you ?’ lying on his thudding chest.
It’s a big day today Damini’ Jatin said as he looked up in the sky stroking her hair.
“the rally is going to be critical for us to win the election” everything has to go smoothly…but something is bothering me…it somehow just doesn’t feel right..i don’t know maybe I am just a bit paranoid.”

Damini lifted her head and looked into Jatin s eyes gave a comforting hug and said…….. nothing.

It was Friday morning 10.00 am & the meeting started after some logistical delays.
It was a dusty day ,about 500 people had gathered in a public park outside Ruby hospital. Jatin was sitting on the stage with other party leaders. Vijay Phadnis was quietly seen seated with his hands folded. Vijay was the spokesperson for the party…and was a master in raking up mass hysteria; he had the knack of turning around people, parties and their fortunes. As Jatin’s father finished his introduction of the agenda, he invited Vijay to speak.

True to his reputation he had got the crowd buzzing, that too in a place which was an opposition stronghold. Jatin saw Raja babu and his bunch of goons lurking around the corner. He sensed there would be trouble.

But from where? How ? Who ?

Jatin was tensed and could not concentrate on the speech. He kept searching the crowd sitting in front for any anomaly. Just then his attention got diverted as the crowd went into a wild rapture clapping and whistling…people got up and clapped thunderously.

Then a gunshot…or two…

The first bullet had lodged straight into Vijay Phadni’s chest.Vijay fell down slowly as the crowd shrieked and screamed ahead of him. The chaos had kicked up a dust storm and people were running like crazy..
…and then there was an explosion just near the stage. Jatin fell down and was bleeding with the shrapnels of a crude bomb lodged in his face..but he was alive..he could breathe…in the ensuing chaos he managed to drag himself off the stage and run towards the hospital…

and then it struck him  - Where is Damini?‘Is she shot, is she dead’ hundreds of thoughts ran through his head, he was combing the area for any trace of Damini, screaming her name ,every shriek burst more veins in his body, his face covered with blood so much that no one could recognize him…not even Lal Prasad whose job was to shoot Jatin today. But Lalla was shot in the back.

The haze in the air made Jatin tumble over Lalla.He fell down in front of him. Lalla’s eyes froze for a moment. He could not speak, as the two looked at each others eyes. There was silence in the chaos. Not recognizing Lalla Jatin said ‘let’s go to the hospital before we die here.’

Lal Prasad had never imagined that the man he had come to kill - wanted to save his life. His throat choked and his eyes filled up. He embraced Jatin trying to get up together. As he opened his eyes behind Jatin’s shoulder, he Saw Raja Babu’s chief operator point a gun.

“NO” He screamed and turned around to take the bullet on his back and save Jatin. Jatin opened his eyes after the shot and the chaos………. to see Damini standing with a gun pointed at him.

Jatin’s eyes cried, this time with blood. ‘H-how could you..’ Jatin muttered under his breath..as Within a flash Damini took another shot and hit Jatin on his right shoulder. Before she could shoot the heart  the dust storm engulfed any visibility that lay in between them.

Damini fired a couple of shots into the haze…not knowing what the end result would be…

On the other side of the haze Lalla and Jatin were lying on the ground….
‘Jatin sahib she is Raja Babu’s party leader… a dangerous woman, run before she finishes both of us. They dragged each other near the hospital ,one in shock and the other in gratitude. Lalla pointed towards the operation theater where his wife Susma was about to give birth.
‘Sahib forgive me, I did not know what I was doing…’  Jatin was too shocked to comprehend anything…
‘and promise me that you will take care of my family no matter what happens to me’ ‘Jatin sahib wake up’ Lalla screamed as he gasped for breath.
 ‘Please take me inside that operation theater.’ Before Jatin could move Lalla slumped on floor…
‘Sahib – promise me you will take revenge you will ….’ and Lalla lost his voice and his life 20 steps short of the operation theater.Jatin in a state of utter stupor walked into the door to see doctors holding a baby girl. The last thing he heard in the room was what Susma said -  I’ll call her Aparajita” and closed her eyes forever.

A few hours later that day…

Raja babu examined the two dead bodies closely. One had a faint resemblance of Jatin and the other he could not recognize much , other than a scar which he had noticed on Lalla ‘s face.

‘are you sure’ he asked the doctor with a frown..

The doctor was not used to being at gun point..but he managed to say..

‘yes their  belongings suggested their names. I found a wallet and a cell phone from each of them..there was a piece of paper with some poem and had I love you Jatin written on the back of a paper clip and the cell phone showed the last dial as Raja babu..’

Raja babu smiled. Wickedly and pondered ‘he fell for it..Damini was always mine.’

Just then Raja babu's cell rang.


"sir we are all set to take her out today, will keep you informed." said Balwinder in a hushed voice.

"make sure you succeed in this mission" retorted Raja babu.

"yes sir we will  - and have taken all precautions, cleared all appointments for the minister -

and then he shouted .... "hey stop - who are you" ? 'hold on..! "

"Sir - there's someone here I 'll update you in a few mins" and Balwinder hung up.

Aparajita stood up from her chair in shock. “how could it be you..y you re dead..” .....

Gyanban thoughts - Cozen means deception or mislead. and thats what this plot is all about.There are three angles remaining untied.This plot revolved around what happened to Jatin before he attended the  fatal rally that day.how he bumped into his killer.what happened? is he still alive? is he dead? This story needs one more episode to explore further.Please feel free to post ideas and questions...maybe I ll try to incorporate them in the next episode.

image courtesy :desktopnexus.com

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