Friday, 29 December 2017




When I was kid I couldn’t go to sleep,
Scared that the ghosts were lingering beneath.
Now as an adult, well I still struggle.
I live among ghosts, vying for trouble.

We have always read it, haven’t we?
All those morals and ethics but did we see?
The light they were kindling inside of us
Originated in the darkness of dead corpus.

Reality is far removed from those lessons.
Selfish preach selflessness for long sessions.
Tables are turned before you could sit down.
Twisted stories decide who wears the crown.

As the lies pile on with backstories well equipped.
Those who know the truth stand by tight-lipped.
Escape routes are lost as the castles crumble.
This is life among ghosts, vying for trouble.

All the secrets to your friend, with trust you’d spoken,
Their wide public slander leaves you broken.
Strangers behind the computer screen suddenly
Start becoming confidantes closer than family.

The one who complains first is assumed to be right.
Your best counterarguments can’t put up a fight.
When the truth upholders and the powerful collide,
Successful are those who are quick at switching sides.

They cook a recipe, with a cupful of befool,
A dash of defame, sprinkling of divide and rule.
Their words might be but their actions aren’t liberal.
This is life among ghosts, vying for trouble.

All the planning and plotting and noose tightening schemes,
Strangling you to death making you join their team.
Join them, oppose them but you can’t ruffle.
This is life among ghosts, come vie for trouble.

© Lydia Moller



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BEHIND THE POEM is coming soon...

Click here to read my previous poem: LIFE IS A RACE

Friday, 28 July 2017


Life Is a Race

© The Gospel Coalition

Mary had a little lamb
Whose love was pure as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go.

He followed and followed unfailingly
Relishing even her presence.
Until he started wondering whether
His absence make any difference.

Down and out, we are like the lamb,
Shaping our paths through rejections.
Trained to participate in tough races,
We’re struggling in forced directions.

Race to prove oneself inarguably right.
Race to seek validation in others’ sight.
Race to save relationships already broken.
Race to leave behind words unspoken.

What we speak, however, are comforting lies
Over and over until we forget the truth.
Fudging away, we dwell on the past.  
Holding what’s gone, trying to make it smooth. 

But if we keep holding on so tightly,
We would end up with fractured fingers.
There can be no home for a new life
While the ghost of the past still lingers.

It is our desperate tendency
To strive for the forbidden fruit.
Some things ought to be effortless.
A point that has, for long, been mute.

If only we counted our blessings
Instead of wailing over our sorrows.
If only we cherished it when present
Instead of missing it in tomorrows.

Despair is because there is hope.
Disappointments due to expectations.
Life is written in high language.
Placidity is its translation.

© Hubpages
© Enlightenbrains


Hey everyone! Thank you for taking out your time to read my poem! If you like it, please click the "like" button present right above the title of the poem (mobile users may find it in desktop view mode). Also please +1 this poem using the option given below.
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Click here to read my last poem: JUDGEMENT

Friday, 30 December 2016




“Silence please!
Everyone will now stand up!”

Case no. 13: Judge Vs I.
“Prosecution may proceed.”

“Mr. I you’re accused of
Being dramatic, which you are.
Your anger is unjustified.
You have no right to feel sour.

“You’re unworthy of your acclaim.
Your conspiracies go amiss.
The jury declares you guilty.
And the court is dismissed.”

Lips parted and closed, wordlessly.
I stood aghast in unceasing doubt.
“Without a valid proof or argument
How could the judgement come out”?

“No accused pleads guilty.”
The judge scorned and sniggered.
“There are anonymous sources,
Whose reporting we have considered.”

That’s how ridiculously absurd
The sophisticated tattletale sounds.
When the jobless forces join in
To play a game of hare and hounds.

In the courtroom named society,
Hostile assessments are made every day.
Everybody’s character is judged
Based on what appearances convey.

To cover their underachievement
And a courage of size: spoonful,
The spineless gossipers go miles
And tear down the successful.

Feeding the poor is publicity
Expressing opinions, undemocratic.
Feeling wronged is overthinking
Standing up for right, dramatic.

All these fingers pointing at you
Will soon make you question yourself.
Through no fault of your own
Their insecurities will transfer to oneself.

Should I walk out of this courtroom,
Or should I get other people tried?
Because everyone is I,
It’s a choice you get to decide.


Hey everyone! Thank you for taking out your time to read my poem! If you like it, please click the "like" button present right above the title of the poem (mobile users may find it in desktop view mode). Also please +1 this poem using the option given below.
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Friday, 22 July 2016


If you haven't read Part II yet, CLICK HERE TO READ IT FIRST.


Story and Character Recap
After the death of the renowned astrophysicist of ISRC, Aman Agarwal, his friend, Private Investigator Shibu Mohan, gets framed for his murder in a sharply crafted plan. The president of ISRC, Varun Agarwal, pained by the guilt of letting his innocent friend hang for a crime he didn’t commit, secludes himself from the company and society and becomes suicidal. When Varun’s wife finds out that he was having affair with Nilisha, she splits up with him. On her mother, Aria’s, forcing, Nilisha continues to comfort Varun and gets him to name the company to her in his will.
The tables turn when one of Shibu’s son, Shivam, comes back to India and starts up a company named DOBILE, which progresses in the market like a hurricane. The co-founder and CEO of Dobile, Soumya, is invited for a meeting by Aria where she tries to scare her into selling the company to her. Failing which, Aria challenges her that she will destroy her company. By playing the game of corporate politics and turning away all the investors from Dobile, Aria takes over their company.
Later on we find Nilisha killing off Varun by pushing him off the window on her mother’s recommendation, so that the company gets transferred to her before Varun’s daughter changes his mind. Fed up of her mother’s dictatorship, Nilisha burns her alive. 

What hides behind curtains is an enemy unsuspected but what hides within ourselves is an enemy underestimated.

Theme music of the news channel plays. The news host introduces his guest Nilisha Choudhry declaring the news of the hour – Varun Agrawal: The Tragedy.
“He had been suicidal ever since he found out that one of his college best friends was murdered by another.” Nilisha’s eyes were oozing droplets. She was dressed in a mini lavender shirt and black high waist leggings. Her shiny red lipstick and nail paints contrasted against the pale coffee cup that she was bringing close to her lips .

“That night when I went to meet him, he seemed absolutely fine to me. We chatted for a long time. Then I went back home.” Nilisha took another sip. “I had forgotten my mobile at his home so I came back. There watchman was not there at the gate. I could hear people talking in the backyard, I got the intuition that there was something wrong. I went there and found him lying on the floor all covered in-” Nilisha broke down. Tears fell till her waterproof mascara gave away.
“I don’t know when he wrote that suicide letter that they found at his home.” Nilisha said after a break. “It’s like everyone close to me is leaving me! Varun, my close friend, and then two days later my mom died in an unfortunate gas leakage.”

Nilisha sat on the chair of the President of ISRC with glass half-filled with red wine in her hand as she watched her six-month old interview, saved in her laptop. She was celebrating the closure of Varun and Aria’s death cases. She wore a saree.
A knock on the door. Shivam nudged Soumya, half-asleep. Soumya rolled on the bed, taking the blanket along and shutting her ears. Knock again. Shivam shook Soumya again. Soumya woke up with angry expressions.
“It’s 6 o’ clock in the morning. Who the hell comes at this time?!” Soumya said in a sore voice tying her hair. She got out of the bed, wore a robe and opened the door. A man tall and muscular, wearing a foliage green pixel pattern overcoat stood there.
“Who are you?” The man asked. Soumya gave him an outraged look.
Shivam was dragging his feet from his room to the hall rubbing his eyes. He spotted the man and his face lit up, “Divyanshu!”
Anurag was dressed in a vest and lose torn pants. He was mowing an unimaginably large lawn with overgrown grass. His sweat covered face was compromising his vision. Summer was early and so was Nitish.

“Are you tired, Anu?” Nitish said with the brightest smile.
Anurag kept mowing the lawn looking at Nitish from the corner of his eyes.
Nitish caught up with him and held his hands. “You must be tired, right Anu?”
Anurag switched off the machine and sighed, “Yes, sir.”
“But master has told me to get this lawn mowed.” Nitish said sliding his left hand on Anurag’s back. “If he finds out that it hasn’t been mowed, he will scold me.” Nitish’s expressions were changing at a rate faster than Anurag could comprehend, his hands were sliding further down his back. “And if he will scold me, I will feel bad. And if I feel bad then I will” he pinched hard on Anurag’s bottom. Anurag let out a short squeak. The pinch intensified. Anurag took deep breaths and controlled his screams.
“Atta boy.” Nitish said smiling brightly. “Mow fast Anu, then we will play!”

Anurag fell to the ground when Nitish ran back into the house. Tears fell out of his eyes. He was gasping for breath. His body was covered with scars of pain inflicted by Nitish. He had seen their master only once. He didn’t even know his name. Nitish was master’s favourite. Nitish had asked for a human toy from his master and he had gifted Anurag to him about four years ago. Often after raping him, Nitish would talk about his life before he had been captured. He used to be a pickpocket once. Then Prahalad caught him and gave him this new life.

Every single day of his life, he had disapproved of Shivam’s actions, denied his requests and dismissed his achievements. Shivam had warned him before leaving for Havard that it’s not safe to live here after dad’s death. But he didn’t consider his suggestions important. He had even ignored Shivam’s calls from the US too. Police had visited multiple times after his dad was hanged. One night a man, medium height, dark skinned, had come as a savior and took him to his house. Only later he found out that he had been enslaved. He had been gifted to Nitish and Nitish would punch him, slap him, beat him every day. He tried to run away once, but he had been caught by other servants. It was the worst night. He had been tied up while Nitish played with his body. There was no running from this. Ever!
“Only yesterday I was talking to Soumya about reopening Aman uncle’s murder case. We’ve even found some proofs” Shivam’s excitement had still not calmed down. He and Divyanshu were sitting in the backyard basking in the late winter sun.
“I’m sorry Shivam. I think I believe in Supreme court’s decision.” Divyanshu said with his usual expressionless tone and placid face.
“Are you saying my dad killed Aman uncle? Are you kidding me? The man who took care of you all your life. A man who treated you with-”
“I know he loved me. And to be honest, probably that is the reason why he killed dad.” Divyanshu sat cross-legged on the chair. “Dad never took care of me. For him his life was his research. He never had the time for me, my goals, my life, my dreams. He knew nothing about me. Nothing. To me, Shibu uncle was my dad. He counseled me in every path. Dad only sent money, not love.”
Shivam’s expressions were frozen.

“Look brother, if anything I’m further indebted by his act. I never liked my dad and uncle killed him to bring justice to me and to this world.” Divyanshu said and got up. “Besides, I didn’t come here to fight some 6-year-old futile case. I retired from Major’s post as soon as my requisite working period ended because my health was consistently degrading and I wanted to rest and spend time with you guys. Anyway, we have to first figure out the whereabouts of Anurag.” He got up and left.

Shivam sat rubbing his feet when Soumya came up to his him. “I think we need to talk about what happened last night.”
“Yeah I know. It’s alright.” Shivam said holding her hand. “I was depressed of working under people I loathe for the sake of our plan and you wanted to comfort me. It’s fine. No strings attached.”
Soumya’s mouth opened several times but no words came out of it. She finally said, “Yeah.” She sat down next to him and continued. “I’ll take that package that we found in your father’s library to forensics tomorrow. Our plan can finally be executed. Siddharth is coming to India today!”
The room was cool and bright. Nilisha was going through the contents of a file and signing them. Shubham sat on the other side of the table, on his wheel chair.
“Nilisha my sweet sister. Even though reluctantly, you’ve always taken care of your crippled elder brother. I’ve been your adviser all your life. You can tell me who talked you up to doing this.” Shubham’s dark grey eyes looked directly into Nilisha’s dark brown. Nilisha continued to ignore him.
“Is it your new boyfriend, or shall I say old boyfriend?” Shubham sniggered. When Nilisha placed the file in front of him to sign it, he said, “Are you sure this is the best idea?”

“I do not do anything without thinking it through. Nothing has ever felt more right than this.” Nilisha said softly in a high pitched voice as she handed over the pen to him and tapped her thumb at the point where he had to sign.

“You do know you’re becoming our mother, don’t you?” He said. “Her love for the company and her children often blindfolded her. As smart a businesswoman as she was, she was rarely able to differentiate between her professional and personal life.” As Nilisha continued to probe at the place on the paper where he had to sign, he placed the nib there, “Continuing down this path might show you the same fate.”
Nilisha retracted the file after he had signed it. She smiled and said softly, “History is cyclical, not Xeroxed. There is a key difference between me and mother. I love my child and I can see through his eyes, mother saw only through her own!”
“Power transfer is inevitable, but you cannot decide the way it gets transferred, Nili! Each zodiac appears in the sky during its destined time, no one can control it, much like the spokes on a wheel coming on the topmost position.” Shubham said adjusting his shirt.

Shubham opened his mouth to speak again but his words got drowned in Nilisha’s racing thoughts. She got an adrenaline rush just thinking about how her happy days were finally here. She was with a man she had loved all her life, but couldn’t do anything about because her mother wanted her to be with Varun. She owned the most famous research corp. in the country. Her enemies worked under her and she’d often receive sadistic pleasure in torturing Shivam by cutting off grants and resources. She was finally on the top.
“Yes Divyanshu is out right now. He is searching for Anurag. Nothing that I haven’t done already.” Shivam took a bite of biscuit and continued. “Anurag was always this careless person. He severed all contacts with me after I left for college and he recklessly left the house. Without any note.”

“I know man.” Siddharth said patting Shivam’s knee. “But he’s your brother and you know you love him. You’re just exasperated because of all that has happened with you and your family that you’re trying to make yourself feel like you don’t miss him.”
Shivam bit his tongue and sighed, trying to prevent the flow of tears. He didn’t speak for several minutes.

“Anyway. Here I am now. Let’s get Dobile back from those despicable people. You have your plan devised, I assume? You have ensured an unsuspecting position in ISRC? You have safely hinted Waris that you are up to something?” Siddharth waited for Shivam’s nod then continued, “You’ll play their treacherous game upon them and get back Dobile. I’ll finance the company. We’ll do it right from the scratch like we had planned all those years ago!”

They smiled and hugged each other. The friendship from college days had rejuvenated strong. The rivalry caused by Aditya, all forgotten.
Soumya sat patiently scrolling on her phone outside the Forensic Science Lab while the reports were being prepared. She and Shivam were on the last step of the renovation of his house, digging through his father’s library, when they had found out a suspicious anonymous package. Inside, they had found his father’s notes on Aman Agarwal’s death case, Nilisha and Varun’s intimate pictures and some docs. 

“So you found any unmatched fingerprint?” Soumya asked when Radhika came out with the report.
“What are fingerprints?” Radhika said.
Soumya looked at her, perplexed. “The impressions. You must have obtained them from the photos or the documents, right?”
“Is it?” Radhika scratched her head. “What are impressions? How do they occur?”
“Never mind.” Soumya brushed off the vexatious questions and walked to the head of the forensic committee. On enquiring, she found out that there were indeed unrecognized fingerprints. On running a match of fingerprints with police records, they had recognized them with that of a pickpocket named Nitish. The whereabouts of whom were unknown to them.

It was getting late and Soumya was exhausted from the day’s work, yet her intrigue kept her going. She had contacts at the Post Office too. She brought up the Speed Post stamp on the anonymous package. The consignment number was tracked and it was found that the package was posted from a village in the outskirts of Mumbai.
Shivam was sitting on the bench outside Nilisha’s office, stretching his back, when she arrived. She ignored him and began unlocking her office. Shivam greeted her and expressed his wish to discuss some matters with her. After silent reluctance, she told the security to turn out his pockets for any item and called him inside her office. Shivam knew it was more of an attempt to insult him than to ensure safety.

“I have the pro forma. I really don’t see the reason for your anxiety, though.” Nilisha said in a soft albeit audibly sarcastic voice, “It’s not like it’s your company anyway.”

She snickered and got up to fetch the document. She had been wearing saree for eight months now, yet her gait was still clumsy. Shivam fought back a snort at her inept handling of her attire. As soon as she turned away, he quickly reached out for his right shoe, felt a bump in it and pulled out what looked like a USB drive and quickly inserted it in one of the USB ports of Nilisha’s computer. Nilisha’s saree’s stole, draped along her right hand, kept sliding off. Her poor handling of her stole bought him more time. He tapped a few keys and observed the erratic sound of the cooling fan of the computer. He took out the drive and put it back in his shoe while simultaneously reaching out for a bump in the left shoe and pressing a button on it.

When she returned he simply nodded to her statements, making suggestions in pure scientific terms that would require him to give explanations repeatedly to her, hence buying him more time. After some time, he left. He quickly went back to his cubicle and took out the drive in his left shoe and inserted its card into his laptop. While he was working, he felt someone’s presence. He looked up. Waris was standing there.

“Coffee?” Waris smiled. Shivam feigned a puzzled look. “6 pm at CCD near your apartment.” He said and left with a smile.
Waris was perched upon the bench in a way that looked awkward for such a grown man. He and Shivam were seated on either side of a round table in CCD. Waris was continually speaking about how he knew what Shivam was up to, that he knew Shivam was working under Dobile sector in ISRC simply for making a living.

Shivam rubbed his nose. Maintaining the silence had already given him away. There was no way he could deny his accusations anymore. All he was waiting for was a strong sign that would suggest Waris’ trustworthiness.

“Fine, I guess I will have to make a big revelation to convince you that I am on your side and have enough power to help you achieve your aim. You know ISRC’s CFO?” Waris said gazing into Shivam’s eyes. Waris continued, “Remember my famous interview from a year ago where I had criticized Nilisha’s policies. Prahalad had asked me to do it saying it was a test of my devotion for the company and science. Only then did he agree to fund my previous research. As it turns out, now Prahalad and Nilisha are engaged. I know Nilisha and Varun’s affair did do rounds,” Waris said when he saw Shivam’s incredulous look. “But it was a story Nilisha and Aria had fabricated. Nilisha was fooling Varun to get control of the company. Why do you think Varun’s children didn’t inherit the company? It was all a plan. Prahalad will soon get more shares of the company. Before a man as sly becomes too powerful, we’ve got to stop them.”
“THAT BITCH!” Soumya exclaimed standing up!

On returning home from his meeting with Waris, Shivam had crossed path with a tensed and sleepless Divyanshu, going out of the house, still searching for Anurag. On coming inside, he found Soumya and Siddharth sitting in the hall. He shut the door and quickly informed them that he had commandeered the cooling fan of Nilisha’s air-gapped computer and set up the Fansmitter. He had recorded the sound in another and used it to transfer all the data into his own laptop. Then he informed them about taking Waris into confidence and exchanging the data in Nilisha’s laptop with him on the condition that he will help them.

“I know. It turns out that she’s far slyer that we had estimated!” Shivam said in a calm voice. “How many lives has she ruined. She destroyed your family-”
“Killed my father! Took away everything that was rightfully mine.” Soumya said with her eyes brimming with tears of angst.
“Killed your father? Varun was your father?” Siddharth said. Soumya nodded as Shivam hugged her. “Didn’t you just say that Varun committed suicide?”
“No he didn’t!” Soumya screamed. “That bitch killed him!”
“I know, that’s alright. But what was the verdict of the case? Varun committed suicide! Don’t you see where I am going with this?” Siddharth said with a grin. Soumya and Shivam sat down on the sofa with confused expressions.

“What are the two key requisites for a Will & Testament to be valid? There must be at least two witnesses and-”
“The testator must be of sound mind while drafting the Will!” Shivam exclaimed! “Genius one Sid! Your Legal Studies minor finally came of some use.” They kicked each other playfully then Shivam continued, “One of the witnesses was Waris! I bet that’s what he was trying to talk about through those heavily veiled words. That’s how he is going to help me. Our case just got stronger that we’d planned. The other witness was obviously Aria, who is dead now! Nice!”

Just then they heard the main gate open. They were discussing whether to tell Divyanshu about the case or not. Shivam was re-explaining why not including him was the best because he is tired of all the years of duty on the border and he’d rather stay away from politics. A frail, infirm body arrived at the door. He was sighing, struggling to keep his scarred body erect. He was shivering, his eyes watering. Shivam ran to the door and supported him into a hug. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he fought to say, “Where have you been, Anurag?”

A Few Months Later

Shubham sat in the living room. He could hear moaning sounds coming from the adjacent room. He turned up the volume of the TV to escape the noise. It had become a daily routine. Prahalad would come home every night and his sister would go with him to her room and make love, loud enough for him to feel incensed.

The door of the room opened. Nilisha came out wearing a long shirt, smiling. Her hair was all messed up but the blush on her face reminded Shubham of her sister from high school, when she used to come home blushing and smirk at him suggesting she had had a good day. She went to the fridge to grab a bottle of water. Shubham expressed surprise. She blushed again and sank into the sofa near him.

Shubham was staring at her. Appreciating her beauty. How blessed he was to have such a beautiful sister. Or was he? Prahalad came out of the room, mussed Shubham’s hair, which always felt weird because Shubham was elder to him, kissed Nilisha and whispered something into her ears and went out.

“Nilisha. Your mood is ecstatic tonight.” Shubham said, trying to walk her through to what he actually intended to say. Nilisha ignored him, closed her eyes and rested her head on the sofa. Shubham continued. “You must be overjoyed to have all you ever wanted. Momentary though it may be.” Though Nilisha pretended to be in another dimension, he knew she was listening to him.
Shubham sighed trying to buy time and courage to say what he was about to say, “Nili, your role in this game is over. Prahalad is materialistic. Writing the whole company to him and your son wasn’t a good idea. Now you’re just a hurdle in his ultimate dream.”
Nilish rubbed her belly with her left hand. She looked down at her belly and said, “My game has just begun. Our game has just begun.”
Shubham looked at her aghast, “Is that why you aren’t drinking alcohol?”
Nilisha blushed and said softly, “Yes. But it’s really hard to resist. I might go for those brandies you bought. Shh.” She gushed and continued rubbing her belly.

A few hours of nap later, Shubham woke up to dead silence in his room. He called out for Nilisha but no one responded. Assuming she might have gone out, he struggled to pull the wheelchair closer to the bed and slid onto it. He turned the handle driving the wheel towards the door. The aroma in the room reeked of alcohol. He drove forward and found Nilisha lying on the floor, face first. Greasy fluid with a hint of blood flowed out of her mouth, down the gradient, to the drain. Her eyes rolled up. Her body stiff with her legs twisted. A bottle of brandy had rolled next to the wall. She lay there still and lifeless.
Prahalad took off his coat, sat down on a bean bag and loosened his tie. He had spent a long day at the police station and news interviews giving statements about Nilisha Choudhry muder case. He turned on the TV and news flashed.

BREAKING NEWS: ISRC President Nilisha Choudhry Murdered by Her Own Brother!!!

News reporter maintained a feigned shocked face as he read out the news while showing clippings of Prahalad’s interviews. A beautiful picture of Nilisha was in the background. He narrated how Nilisha and Prahalad were betrothed and were, allegedly, living together. How she had announced about her pregnancy to him, on the evening before her murder and they had decided to marry each other but it wasn’t digestible to her elder brother, the ex-CEO of ISRC. He had been bitter at Nilisha ever since Prahalad took his post. When Nilisha decided to marry him he snapped at the trepidation of losing ISRC completely and so he killed her. The brandy that Nilisha drank had poison. Shubham’s fingerprints had been discovered on the bottle. The reporter added that Prahalad sidestepped on the infamous Human Trafficking case that had been filed against him.

Prahalad put both his hands behind his head and smirked. The whole company was his at last. He had lured Nilisha into writing the company to him and their 24-year-old first son in her will. He turned off the TV and went to bed. Tomorrow was going to be an adventurous day too.
Shivam sat on Anurag’s bed. Anurag was sleeping. He mussed his hair gently then studied the fading scars on Anurag’s hands. He smiled dryly. Prahalad had been carrying out Human Trafficking for years. After Shibu’s death, when he had left for Harvard, Prahalad had come home turning up the whole house and luring Anurag with hopes of a better life. He had, instead, taken him as a slave. Anurag had also revealed the leader of his slave group, Nitish, who was himself a slave too, used to torture and sexually abuse everyone. A fast track case had immediately been filed against Prahalad which had become a hugely debated topic in the news.

Anurag woke up. “Judgement day!” They said in unison and smiled. Shivam got up from the bed and patted on his back. He went on to dress up. He called Waris. Waris had helped them get the best lawyer at short notice. Waris had quit the company after Prahalad had taken up CEO’s post. He knew nothing could save the company anymore.
Soumya, Siddharth and Waris were sitting in the hall when Shivam came down with Anurag. The housekeeper came running and distributed Prasad wishing good fortune.

“It’s the most important right now, really.” Waris joked. “Prahalad has hands everywhere. Who knows he might get us murdered before we could even reach the court.”

Waris and Anurag went ahead in Waris’ car. Shivam told Siddharth to come with Divyanshu who was having an upset stomach. He grabbed the keys and went ahead with Soumya. Just then he heard a loud explosion. They ran outside. A burning car was visible just a few blocks away. It was Waris’ car. Ablaze in bright flames.
“I don’t have anywhere else to go to. A middle aged man with dysfunctional legs. I heard what Prahalad did to your brother and I knew if two victims got together, we could fill the holes in the loop.” Shubham said in a shivering voice.
Soumya put a tray full of cookies and dry fruits in front of him and said in a dry tone, “But why should we believe you? Saving you is giving hostage to a fugitive.”

“Prahalad killed my sister, a woman that I loved and admired. I could still picture her choking. She was probably calling out for me when she succumbed to death. And he blamed it all on me. I had drunk half the brandy so my fingerprints were on the bottle. He had put poison in it. He knew Nilisha wouldn’t open a new bottle risking suspicion that she was drinking despite being pregnant. A calculative tactician he is.” Shubham’s voice choked. He looked at Shivam and continued, “You might understand my situation. Your father was falsely blamed and punished for a crime he didn’t commit. That’s what Prahalad does.”

“So Prahalad murdered Aman uncle?” Shivam asked in an uneven voice.
“Not himself. He had his son do it for him.” Shubham cleared his nose.
“His son?” The three exclaimed in unison.
“Yes, the only man who is suspiciously absent from this room. Also your brother and Waris’ death wasn’t just a misfortune. If the nuts of his car’s wheels were indeed lose, how did he drive over to your place? Also, as far as I know Waris had bought a new car, how did the battery explode so easily?” Shubham said. Soumya, Shivam and Siddharth exchanged horrified expressions.

Shubham broke the silence, “Nilisha and Prahalad went to the same high school. She was crazily in love with him. When Nilisha got pregnant the summer she turned 18, our mother tried to get it aborted. But there were complications so she couldn’t abort the child. Mother wouldn’t even allow Nilisha and Prahalad to meet. She wanted Nilisha to marry Varun, who was the son of co-founder of ISRC because she wanted the company to remain in the family. After the child was born, mother decided to have mercy on Nilisha’s request. She contacted Varun’s friend Aman, who was working as a research assistant at ISRC. He and his wife were having trouble in conceiving so he willingly offered to adopt the child. He raised Nilisha and Prahalad’s son as his own and named him Divyanshu.

“Divyanshu was always a violent child. Aman’s pampered upbringing had spoiled him. When Divyanshu eventually found out that he was adopted he got angry. He was a teenager and his friends at school used to tease him. One day he came home, full of angst, and beat his mother to death. He was going to kill Aman too, but Aman contacted a friend in psychology department and sent him for rehab far away. Aman hid his wife’s body and wiped off every proof and told everyone that his wife ran away. All just to save his adopted son. When Divyanshu returned from rehab, Aman couldn’t stand him. 

Seeing him every day reminded him of how brutally his wife had been murdered, how to the world she had become a villain despite being an innocent woman. He talked with his college mate Shibu and sent him to live with you children. He would only meet him once in a few months and send money regularly. Meanwhile Prahalad seeked Divyanshu out. He began using him as his pawn in his long drawn crafty game to become the owner of ISRC.

“First he reignited Divyanshu’s hatred towards Aman and got him to murder him. He had already poisoned him at dinner but Prahalad was being paranoid. So,he deliberately caused fault in the CCTV that night and sent Divynashu to kill him.

“The gloves with Aman’s blood that had been discovered in the drain by CBI had leather pieces stuck to them. Nilisha told me she thought that those leather might have gotten stuck to them in the drain. I, however, have a hunch that Divyanshu wore two set of gloves that night. Working on Prahalad’s dual attack plan, he wore leather gloves with Shibu’s used latex gloves on top of them. That’s how Shibu was framed.”
There was a prolonged aghast pregnant pause.

Shubham continued, “When Varun married another woman, Prahalad thought Nilisha would marry him and that would pave his way to ownership of ISRC, but mother didn’t allow that. She wanted Nilisha to keep trying for Varun. She literally forced her to lure him into extramarital affair and break his marriage, which she very well did many years past his marriage. Prahalad, then, must have devised another plan. He obtained the pictures of Nilisha and Varun and sent them to Aman hoping, as honorable as he is, he’d stand up against this and talk to his friend Varun. But Aman did nothing of that sort. When he saw Nilisha and Varun panicking, he used it as the perfect time to have him murdered hence thickening the plot and throwing blames on Nilisha and Varun. He knew Shibu would get involved in the case. He had the pictures sent out to him while simultaneously framing him for this case, because his next target was his children. He knew you would rise against the injustice. But his plan failed.

“Nilisha had no idea that Shibu was not the murderer. Nilisha ensured a fast track case because Shibu was threatening to reveal about her and Varun’s affair and it pestered her that he was actually blaming her for a crime that he had committed. The proofs against Shibu were far too strong, so he was hanged.  

“I know Soumya, Nilisha killed your father, but even that was on mother’s order so that she’d safely get the company before you change his mind. My sister wasn’t evil she was a noble soul caged in a pretentious hard exterior. She has committed crimes, no doubt. The crime of falling in love with a man who, she knew, was using her. The crime of pretending to be a criminal just to be taken as fiercely seriously as mother. And she paid her debts. Got murdered by a man she loved. She was a terribly misunderstood teenager, stuck in an adult’s body.”

“Why are you telling all this now?” Soumya said, clearing her throat. “You knew of all the crimes and you just stood by.” Soumya raised her hand to silence Shubham when he opened his mouth, “Do not give me your I-am-crippled excuse. So many people died, so many lives got ruined just because you couldn’t speak up? You knew everything. Anurag died, my father died, Shibu uncle died, Aman uncle died and now you came to help us because you lost someone close to you? Or shall I say because you were framed for it. Where are your excuses now? You are just as selfish and evil. Do not pretend to be otherwise.”  

Shubham lowered his face. “It’s true what they say. People keep note of what you did. They never see all the evil you chose not to do even though you had the chance... I do not claim to be a hero too Soumya. I know what I have done is wrong. But I am your best hope to get back what is rightfully yours. I am the key witness for getting the criminals punished for their crimes. I am ready to receive whatever punishment you would want me to endure. But first I need to see Prahalad and Divyanshu punished for their crimes. If you will, please, let me.”

“You want to see me punished.” said Divyanshu. He was standing near the door. His expressions were hard as stone. A fury that no one had ever seen before and no one was alive to report its existence. He made slow steps towards them. “What happened to Aman’s wife, Aman, Jajodia, Waris and Anurag, you seem to be too excited to experience them.” He kept walking towards Shubham, others too aghast to think of stopping him. “I had told Prahalad to finish you off. But that foolish egocentric dumbass, overestimated his idiotic plan” Divyanshu wasn’t blinking. His cheeks were up high, his eyes scarily wide.

He pulled up the sofa on which Soumya was sitting, sliding her down violently, and threw it on Shubham. His wheelchair received the impulse and slid backwards hitting the wall, throwing him off. Shivam and Siddharth unsuccessfully tried to manhandle him, Divyanshu pushed them both aside in one blow. Soumya crawled on the floor till she gained balance and ran to get her mobile. The housekeeper stood in one corner, crying. Divyanshu ran to Shubham and grabbed his back, pulled him up and pushed him to the wall, face first, dragging him along the wall with full force. Blood started coming out of Shubham’s body. As Shubham helplessly fought to get off of Divyanshu, he pulled him off the wall and banged him on the floor. Just then, Divyanshu received a strong blow on his head from behind. He turned around to find Siddharth. He hazily marched forward strangling him along, picked him up and banged him down on the floor. He jumped up performing a chop drop on his chest. Blood started spilling out of Siddharth’s mouth. A vase came flying his way, he ducked. He caught sight of Soumya and was about to grope her when Shivam kicked him hard on his backbone. Seeking the chance, Shivam grabbed his head and clinched him to the ground as Soumya tied his legs.
Police arrived within minutes and prosecuted him.
Words were raw in Shubham’s mouth. Joyed emotions vibrant on his face, when Soumya told him that Prahalad and Divyanshu had been sentenced to death. Shubham had been in the ICU for the past few months after Divyanshu had inflicted injuries to him. He had taken several blows to his brain and had spent a few weeks in coma. He could report to the court only on special arrangements.
Shivam and Siddharth walked into the room laughing. Shivam narrated how Prahalad’s expressions were hardening with every proof going against him.
“It reached its climax when Divyanshu ended up validating the proofs against him.” Shivam grinned.
“He had to. Prahalad was trying to sneak out to the safe side. The case against Divyanshu was very strong he was obviously going down; the game changer was how he took Prahalad down along with him.” Siddharth said continuing to laugh.
“I felt a little bad for him towards the end, though.” Soumya said. “His father gave almost all his money to the company. Didn’t even reserve an important position for him in the company. Poor guy got nudged on the wrong path because of that.”
Shubham and Siddharth stared at her, annoyed. Shubham smiled and said, “Agreed. People aren’t born evil. Situations make them." He paused then continues, "The real enemy, you see, resides within ourselves. It may be in the form of the ghost of our past or venom of our future. Divyanshu was both the ghost of Prahalad’s past and venom of his plausible future. Hence his pawn became his own enemy before the game was even over.” His voice was shaky. Soumya covered him in the blanket and told him to sleep.
A few weeks later he passed away.

Soumya rightfully inherited ISRC. She renamed the company to Dobile. She distributed the shares equally among Shivam, Siddharth and herself.

One night, while Shivam was arranging his father’s library and reminiscing his childhood, Soumya came in. A newspaper declaring “Shibu was innocent; the court apologized” was lying on the table.

“Remember all those years ago, you had proposed to me?” Soumya said to Shivam. “My answer was no because I didn’t want you to settle down. I wanted you to keep going. I wanted myself to find the will to keep going.”
“But now you’ve got what you wanted. Now we’ve brought justice to our parents. And we wish to start our new lives together.” His hands were on her waist, hers around his shoulders.
“We wish to live our lives together.” Soumya blushed as their faces came together.

Shibu smiled from his photo above them.

Hey everyone! Thank you for reading my first story series on the blog: THE ZODIAC WHEEL trilogy. If you like it, which I really hope you did, let me know by clicking that “LIKE” button present below the title of the story and giving it a +1 (if you’re on mobile, switch to desktop view to find it. J). Writing this story series required a lot of hard work so please share the story on social media by using the respective buttons (also on desktop view) given below and help me reach a wider audience.

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©Shivam Murari
Photo Editor: +Manan Pachchigar 


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