Nineteenth

Hello readers! I have started writing this novel based on a spur-of-the-moment-idea that I ain’t sure of yet. But to make sure I write the whole thing, and complete it one fine day I decided to post it here in parts. Its supposed to be a mystery. Hope you guys like it! I sure do.

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He was extremely tired. A band was playing a popular item number on the streets. He checked his watch. 2 am. He thought of calling the police. But why take the pain? The Ganesh Festival always brought with it a truck load of work. The bank he worked at was one of the most reputed banks in all of Mumbai. It had been an extremely busy day. He had started working at dawn, just before the sun had set in, and finished only an hour before midnight. His back had created more problems than it normally did. He hadn’t been able to get up from his seat. Any movement made his spine feel impregnated with needles. Ibuprofen had worked its magic and he had managed to drive back home. He found his stash of beer in the fridge. There was no food. Sometimes, he even missed his wife. Although she had been completely useless in most regards, she had at least the decency to cook him two meals a day and count his alcohol intake to safe norms.

Mr. Desai settled his weight around the sofa and threw his head backwards. His eyelids were drooping slowly. His breathing deepened and his paunch heaved with every breath. He was about to fall asleep. Suddenly, he realized the band had stopped playing. He could hear crickets outside. His eyes opened wide. There was absolutely no sound except the crickets. It was almost too quiet. What was happening? The doorbell rang. He checked his watch again. 2:15 am. He tip toed across the room to his drawer below the television. His hand slipped underneath the drawer and he yanked out a pistol taped across it. The door bell rang again. He swore and opened the next drawer. Bullets were taped underneath this one. He nimbly loaded his pistol. The door bell rang again. And again.

“Impatient bastard,” Mr. Desai swore. He walked towards the door and looked through the peephole. It was covered. He turned the latch. His left hand shook and a finger settled itself on the trigger. The right hand clutched the door knob. He took a deep breath. “Rama Rama Rama…” he pulled the door knob. At the same time he lifted his left hand to arm length and pointed it at the visitor. His mouth opened and his pupils dilated in surprise.

At least five torches were pointing at him. He couldn’t see a thing. He looked down to ease his eyes when he noticed two red dots dancing on his shirt. Laser guns? What the hell was going on?

“Mr. Desai put the gun down and slowly lace your fingers at the back of your head,” a voice called out from the darkness. He released his hold on the gun and it fell down on the ground.

“It’s only a pistol,” he called out meekly. He had never been more scared in his life.

“Lace your fingers at the back of your head and spread your feet,” the voice boomed again.

He looked down. The red dots were still there. He did as he was told. A second later, he saw the outline of two men. They were uniformed. He could see the night vision goggles, and army uniform. One of them handcuffed him, the other picked up his pistol and put it inside a plastic bag. One more form came into vision. It was a huge man in a black suit. He looked intimidating. “Mr. Deepak Desai, you are under arrest for the murder of thirteen senior commanding officers of the Mumbai division and for multiple acts of forgery, felony and forty two other cases.”

“What?” Deepak was flabbergasted. “You’ve got the wrong guy! I am a bank manager! I have worked at Ford Bank for the past ten years. You’ve got the wrong guy!” he couldn’t stop himself from screaming. This felt so unfair! Why would he kill anyone? Especially army officials.

“If you do not stop resisting arrest, you will be booked for forty three cases Mr. Desai.” The man in the black suit spoke between clenched teeth.

Deepak decided to follow the instructions. He was taken to a police jeep. The two army officials entered the jeep with him and hand cuffed him to the jeep. They took off their night vision goggles and face masks. Two young, angry faces faced him. They looked murderous. He bit his lip. A policeman entered the jeep and sat next to him. The army officials turned their homicidal gaze at him and his quite visible paunch. The policeman immediately sucked his stomach in and tried to look apologetic. The jeep started moving.

Ten minutes or so later it stopped moving. He was de-hand-cuffed and taken roughly to the police station. Another army official was present there. But he seemed to be of a higher rank. The murderous duo saluted him. Deepak smiled as he saw it. He loved the military salute.

“You have the audacity to smile at me after you wipe off half my regiment?” the senior army official was looking at Deepak in the eye. He shuddered.

“General Singh, we must look into the matters of priority immediately,” Mr. Black Suit impressed. The general did not respond. A bead of sweat rolled down Suit’s forehead and fell on the ground. He looked from the General to Deepak; they were both staring at each other. The general was mentally picturing Deepak’s murder. Deepak meanwhile stared back in defiance. He was being framed. He hadn’t committed those crimes. He could not let himself be afraid.

Mr. Suit could not wait any longer. He seemed to be bursting with pressure. “General, there really is not much time…” the general raised a hand to silence Mr. Suit. He turned on the spot and walked smartly across the room with Suit hobbling behind him.

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