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Missing - Episode 16


Ramada Hotel;
Floor 9, Room #211.
Juhu Bach, Mumbai.

Jennifer Joseph, finally yielded into temptation. She lit a cigarette, inhaled, held it for a few seconds and then exhaled. Jennifer got up from the bed and walked to the window to tap the ash off her cigarette. The window frame captured the sunset, some nameless faces on aimless shores,floating in and out and the Arabian Sea.

The room was lit with two lampshades which highlighted the bronze shade on her hair. It had one empty coffee cup with stains at the bottom,and a maroon lipstick on the rim. A muted television played in the background, light curtains half drawn, the air conditioner set at sixteen degrees, an open laptop with the wireless light blinking, and the balcony window slightly open to let out the smoke.

“Jjo think, think think...what does a movie blogger have to do with Juhu beach and a child? What’s the connection? Oh God don't tell me he could be a paedophile,but then the girl seemed happy with him,but then he could be luring her...oh dammed this is not right”

“There’s got to be a logical connect,” she muttered. She sat down in front of the laptop again. She went through the blog repeatedly. She read a few posts, some movie reviews and made a character sketch in her mind.

“Ok so he likes movies,is detail oriented,visual, is descriptive,must be the chatterbox types.” Yet every-time she glanced at the photograph the analysis was quite the contrary. He looked a bit lost, a bit out of place and shy.

Cyrus had ninety nine followers on the blog “MoviesRus” Jennifer raced through a few posts and reviews until her eyes stopped on “Brokeback Mountain”. That particular review had fifty one comments while the rest averaged five or six. However one commentator featured in as many as twenty one of them –it was Aryan Ahuja.

Jennifer flipped back to another review, the name appeared again. She went to some other posts in a random selection; each one had Aryan Ahuja commenting at least once.

“Ok so he has a fan following all right – Aryan Ahuja – now why would you be so interested in movies Mr.Ahuja? Or are you interested in Cyrus?”she said while her nostrils emitted smoke like a slow waterfall. 

She clicked on Aryan Ahuja’s profile and found out he was a doctor. Her fingers searched for  “Aryan-Ahuja-Doctor-Mumbai” on Bing.There were multiple options but one made her eyes widen.

“Roohi Dutta, stand-alone case for Duodenal Atresia, operated by Dr.Aryan Ahuja” on the Indian journal of medicinal research.At the end of the article she found the name of the hospital he worked and the names Shekhar and Tara.

“Hello, is it  Cloud Nine Hospital” she asked.

“Please hold”

“Dammed, it hurry up”

The hold music continued to play. Jennifer started to scratch the tip of her thumb with her index finger till the skin rolled up.She stood up from the bed, and tossed the remaining cigarette out of the window.

“Come on”

“Good Evening Cloud nine – how may I help you?”

“Erm eyes yes, uh I need to know about Aryan Ahuja”she blurted.

“Excuse me?”

“Oh am sorry, I mean can you connect me to Doctor Aryan Ahuja”

“Who shall is say is calling?”

“ Uh this is— ” Jennifer was interrupted.

“I just checked,If you’re looking for an appointment then “it’s not possible, he’s on leave till next week”

“What – uh look this is an emergency can you please let me know his mobile phone?”

“I’m sorry ma’am I ‘m not authorized”

"Listen lady,I need that Doctor's number right now" she said grinding her teeth.

The phone disconnected."Uh what, wait,I'm sorry,hello..."

Jennifer Joseph slumped into the soft bed once more.She lay down staring at the ceiling wondering what to do next. "I can log back into Facebook and inform Tara...but with what evidence? Just a hunch? She might just freak out to know that her child is with a paedophile? But not telling her could be the worst thing to happen"

Jennifer logged back into Facebook to see so many comments on Roohi and there was Aryan Ahuja's comment - with a phone number. Curious she clicked on his profile page and the first words startled her What you seek, is seeking you”. 

Rumi was her favorite too.


  1. Ah, this is intense. I am still trying to figure out how I feel about it (not your writing but the subject matter). :-)


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It's 5AM and the clock is late,
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but the wrinkle is annoying the mane,
and the greys are flaying the vein,
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the dark skin is brighter,
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their shampoos leave no clue,
only the fan comes to my rescue.

Waiting for the elevator,
a minty breath drifts over the shoulder,
the noose around my neck chokes
gasps for breath and the heart pokes
the lights are incandescent inside
empty faces on the outside.

The tube-light and the guard flickers
People wearing strange monikers
floating close to the floor
a door opens, the stupor
he sashays along leaving them behind,
my eyes lose him and hope to find.

Clocks go by and the hours shiver
the cardigan shrugs off and the  lips quiver
a sudden surge of reason, cold air ,
aimlessly slides off my ruffled hair
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