SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS ( 80)

THE UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT

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“This is ridiculous,” blasted Police Chief Ranade. “This is the fifth kidnapping in a month.” “We have to do something before the matter escalates to another level.” Inspector Shyam Talpade spoke up, saying, “We are doing our best to trace them.” Ranade shook his head and said, “The press and the public are desperate to know whether these people are dead or alive.” Shyam responded, “We do understand your position, sir.” My men tried to trace the location of their cell phones, but without any success. Whoever kidnapped them was too clever to leave behind even a tiny clue.
Ranade snorted, “How can you crack a joke at this moment?” Do you honestly think that any criminal in his right mind would leave behind some clues for us to follow and implicate himself? “Our eyes and minds should be sharp enough to find out his error.” Shyam felt ashamed and mumbled a quick apology. The entire Mumbai Police had assembled for an emergency meeting to discuss the recent spate of kidnappings. Five businessmen had been kidnapped since February 15th, 2023. They were Ghanshyam Das (manufacturer of plastics and plastic-related products), Ashok Bhinde (chemicals), Suresh Mehta (sound systems), Mohan Shastri (construction company), and Paritosh Kumar (leading cosmetics manufacturer).Inspector Shyam continued to speak, “Sir, I find it weird that the victims’ families haven’t yet received any calls for ransom.” It might be an act of revenge. “We have to dig up the dirt on these people and find out who might want to settle their scores against them.” The rest of the officers agreed with him. They discussed how to handle the media while simultaneously working on tracing these men, and the meeting ended after an hour. 
Inspector Shyam returned to his table and asked SI Diwakar to join him for a cup of tea, as he was experiencing a severe headache. While they sipped tea from their respective glasses, Diwakar told, “Sir, all these guys have PILs filed against them that were subsequently dismissed due to a lack of evidence.” Shyam felt excited and said, “Excellent.” “Who filed the petition against them and why?” Diwakar said, “It was Mr. Kiran Kumar, a journalist from the Daily News in Mumbai. He was concerned about their companies causing all kinds of pollution and leading to various health hazards. But they seemed to have teamed up together, and not only did they get the PIL quashed, but they also filed a defamation suit against him, causing him to lose his job.” Shyam said, “Do you have the address of this guy?” It’s time to have a little chat with him.
Shyam and Diwakar went to visit Kiran, who was writing an article for a magazine. “Mr. Kiran,” said Shyam, “I am sure you would know the purpose of our visit.” Five businessmen have been kidnapped, and we don’t have any clues as to their whereabouts. I was hoping you could help us out. Kiran simply shrugged and responded, “How the hell would I know where they went?” “They must be faking their kidnapping to get more publicity for their ruthless businesses, which are destroying Mother Nature.” Diwakar asked, “The kidnapper abducted them with a timeframe of 3 days between each kidnapping.” Mr. Ghanshyam Das was the first person to go missing on February 15, 2023. Can you give us your alibi? “Where were you during all these kidnappings?” Kiran chuckled, “It’s been a month since I lost my job, and to make matters worse, these wealthy idiots sought more money from me by filing a defamation suit.” I think justice is already dead in this country. The wealthy criminals flash money, and they are scot-free. On the contrary, an innocent person who cares for the welfare of society is punished. Well, if you think I could kidnap them, wouldn’t I have demanded half of their wealth as ransom? I don’t care a fig if they are safe or dead. So, please don’t expect cooperation from me.” Kiran gave them the details of his whereabouts on the days these people disappeared. 
A couple of days later, Inspector Shyam was busy following up the leads on the kidnapping cases when Sunanda, Ghanshyam Das’ wife, turned up at the police station. She was frantic and burst into tears as she addressed Shyam: “Inspector, my 11-year-old daughter, Tanika, is missing since last evening. She went to attend her mathematics coaching class but didn’t come back.I called her friends, but no one claims to have seen her after school.” Inspector Shyam offered her a glass of water and asked her to sit while he filed an FIR. It so happened that the children of the kidnapped men were also missing from their respective residential areas. 

Meanwhile, the kidnapped men were struggling to cut through the ropes that held their wrists and legs together. The kidnapper who was dressed in an all black attire with a mask, laughed at their plight. He pulled out the gags from their mouths to listen to their pleading. Ashok Bhinde, whose company produced chemicals, almost cried out, ” Please spare our lives. Name your price and you shall have it. My friends and I promise not to mention you at all.” His friends merely nodded. The kidnapper yelled at them, ” I don’t want your pieces of paper scraps that you call money. Shove them up your asses. I have to show you something to demand what I actually want. “

He switched on the big LED screen and a picture came into view. It was Ghanshyam’s daughter, Tanika. She had a plastic bag wrapped over her head and struggling to breathe. Ghanshyam screamed, ” Nooooooo…… Please take all my money but spare my baby. She’s my only kid. What did she do to deserve this kind of treatment? ” The kidnapper retorted, ” She’s simply paying the price for your misdeeds. You are manufacturing plastics and plastic products. Have you ever realized that your company contributes to the environmental damage? Poor stray animals who search the garbage dumps for food, either get their heads or throats stuck in those non- biodegradable covers and choke on them, losing their lives. People dump plastic water bottles in seas and rivers. The marine life gets hurt. Do you know what choking means? How does it feel when your daughter is gasping for breath? You are not concerned about others and other forms of lives that are affected by your business. You will do anything to protect your daughter because she’s your blood. Have you ever cared about Mother Nature? Everyone has a right to live. Your company products are hazardous. You also manufacture plastic toys which if swallowed by a toddler would cause his death. If I am not mistaken, one of your employees’ lost her one year old son after you gave her a plastic toy as a birthday gift, and he put it in his mouth.” ” But,” replied Ghanshyam, ” I gave her β‚Ή1,00,000 as the monetary compensation.”

The kidnapper was furious, ” Don’t justify your barbaric actions. Is the value of a human life, only β‚Ή 1,00,000? In that case, let your daughter stop breathing. I will transfer double the amount in your bank account.” Ghanshyam pleaded, ” No, please. Her life is more precious to me than your money. I promise to change my business and open a restaurant instead. I will provide high quality food at reasonable rates to all.” The kidnapper smirked and gave him a paper to sign. When Ghanshyam finished signing, he returned the document. The kidnapper picked up his phone and shortly, Tanika, was freed. She ran to hug her father who was kissing her on the forehead. The kidnapper said, “You have to wait here until I finish my business with your friends too.” He turned to face Ashok, who almost peed in his pants waiting to find out what was in store for him.

Ashok’s son came into the picture. He was hardly 9. A mean looking guy was pointing a gun at his forehead. He forced the boy, Akash, to pick up the glass of the contaminated water, ordering him to drink it. Ashok screamed, ” Don’t let my child drink that contaminated muddy water. He will fall sick or even die.” The kidnapper retorted, ” You never thought about water contamination and how it would affect others while dumping the chemical wastes freely in the sea. Do you have any idea of the damage that you caused? Nearly 20 turtles were washed ashore with toxins in their bodies. Hundreds of dead fishes led to food poisoning among the fishermen and their families. Don’t they deserve to live?” Ashok hung his head in shame. He chose to promote nursery and gardening. He, too, signed the papers and got his boy safe and unharmed. Ghanshyam and Ashok waited as it was Suresh Mehta’s turn. Another video came to replace the previous one. It showed his three year old twins, Pari, and Aniket crying over the thunderous sound of music. It was blaring loud enough to cause an ear splitting ache for the adults. Suresh begged him to stop torturing his kids. He said, ” I understand what you are trying to convey through this video. Please don’t strain your vocal chords. I will open coaching classes instead of causing noise pollution through these sound systems.” The kidnapper smiled and released his kids after obtaining their signatures. Mohan Shastri had contractors who would chop down the trees mercilessly to build tall skyscrapers. He saw his children, Monica and Arjun, gasping for breath as they were locked in a room completely devoid of oxygen. The kidnapper said, ” Your children are merely enacting what would happen if you continue deforestation. Trees give us oxygen and help in maintaining the ozone layer. You would know this if you ever went to school in your life. We drained out oxygen from the room. They are choking over the carbon dioxide that’s coming out of their nostrils.” Mohan promised to promote Wildlife conservation and plant more trees. He signed along the dotted lines like his friends. Finally, it was Paritosh’s turn. He was too stunned to speak as the kidnapper turned on the next video where one of the men was forcibly applying the face cream manufactured by Paritosh’s company.

The kidnapper said, ” Don’t worry. We are simply testing the cosmetics made by your company on your darling teenaged daughter, Meena. Let’s see if the cream makes her skin glow. Because I heard you test your beauty products on innocent animals and the girls belonging to a poor family. How does it feel when your daughter has pimples, zits, and acnes developing on her beautiful face? It’s the use of chemicals like whitening agents and bleaches, right? ” Paritosh begged him to spare his daughter. He promised to turn over a new leaf and open a fitness center cum gym instead of selling defective cosmetics. He signed up the paper and got back his daughter too. Ghanshyam spoke, ” Are you Kiran, the journalist? “

The kidnapper replied, ” My identity is none of your business. If you value your lives, just go back to the hell that you call homes. Arrange for a press conference and make the announcement of your new business plans. Tell them that you were briefly away to discuss a new business opportunity. If you ever try to mention this kidnapping businesses, you will lose your reputation in the society. I have some of your juiciest secrets which I won’t hesitate to share over the social media.” The five men had learned a lesson and made their way out from their temporary imprisonment. The kidnapper removed his mask and stood before the mirror and the Police Chief, Ranade, stood smiling at him.

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (79)

THE SCIENTIST WHO TURNED INTO A MONSTER ( FOR THE TERRORISTS) ( PART 11) : A SHORT STORY BY ME

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Sunny had to think for a way to escape from Ahmed’s fury. What kind of test would he conduct? Would it be something dangerous and could prove fatal? Sunny had an idea. First, he had to prove Ahmed that he was loyal. Some of his men already hated Sunny for his extreme closeness to Ahmed. Sunny called his friend from the Army, Dinesh, and said, “I need your help. I am going to create a toy gadget to make Ahmed believe that I am loyal to him. I will give you a missed call and then you have to contact the media to air the fake news of bomb explosion in Jantar Mantar killing at least 50 people. Please contact the relevant authorities and seek their approval.This is the first and the last time, we will air the news. I will win over Ahmed’s trust and then hypnotize him to conduct a special test for his other followers. You are already aware of my other invention. By the end of this week, I will pack them off to hell.” Dinesh was hesitant as spreading a rumor or fake news was highly risky but his best friend’s life was at stake. He agreed to his proposal. After ending his conversation with Dinesh, he contacted Inspector Shashank and briefed him about his next course of action. Though it wasn’t needed, Sunny thought of keeping his good friend in loop.

Sunny paid one of the guards to buy lunch for him. The guard was cursing him in Urdu but did as he was told. Meanwhile, Sunny had assembled some materials. He tried to keep himself busy by working on his pretend project. Ahmed happened to pass through his room and merely nodded. It was evident from his face that he was upset over the loss of two of his best men. He was determined to find out who the traitor was!

Later that evening, Ahmed happened to pass by Sunny’s room when he yelled, ” Hurray! My work is over. My experiment is successful. Let me give it a trial. ” Ahmed was quite intrigued and entered his room with excitement quite evident on his face. Sunny welcomed him and said, ” Please have a seat and watch my experiment. It’s time to avenge the loss of our brothers and sisters.” His gadget look like a miniature version of cannon. It had a timer and a compass. Instead of pointing the directions, it had key monuments listed in the compass dial. He was working on his pretend project as Ahmed held his breath for so long that Sunny nearly thought he had died.

One of his men came rushing towards Sunny’s room and said excitedly, ” Boss, you need to come and watch this.” Ahmed was puzzled. Nevertheless, he followed him and there, on the television, was the news reporter reading out the fake news of a bomb explosion. Ahmed was thrilled. He was so happy that he hugged and nearly kissed the messenger.

Suddenly, he realized that it was Sunny’s latest invention that did the trick and cursed himself for doubting his intentions. He went to Sunny’s room and thanked him for his crazy gadget. He continued to rant, ” I apologize for casting aspersions on your ability and nature. This is the best news of the day. Name your reward and it shall be yours.” Sunny reminded him of his loyalty test and said, ” We still have to find out the mile and punish. I have just the test for you. He took out the remote and showed it to him.

Sunny said, ” If I press the button on this remote, it will open the door to another place. If your soldiers are devoted to you, they will come back unharmed. If not, then you will know who’s the actual culprit.” Ahmed was ecstatic over this suggestion as well. He grinned and replied, ” You are a real genius. Ajmal and Shafeeq did the right thing by introducing you to us. I accept your suggestions.” Sunny smiled at him. So far, everything went according to his plan. He kept his fingers crossed with the hope that the final act, too, went off without any hitch.

He could not sleep that night. No one would have imagined that his tiny gadgets could get rid of a whole bunch of terrorists. He tried to read an ebook and eventually fell asleep.

The next day, Ahmed called everyone to assemble outside in the open ground adjacent to their hideous den. Their group consisted of 15 men. Ahmed addressed them, ” Dear Friends, I have no doubt that all of you are loyal to me but to prove your loyalty, you are required to undergo a small test. Dr. Sunny, here, is going to open the door which would lead to someplace just like a portal in the magical world. Those who are loyal would come back unharmed.” And the test started. One by one, every one was sucked into the black hole. Ahmed lost his temper. He looked furiously at Sunny, ” ‘I think you have deliberately misled me. What did you do to my men? I need them right now.”

Sunny chuckled, ” If you are missing your men so much, why don’t you join them? ” Ahmed’s eyes widened in horror as Sunny rushed at him in full force and pushed him inside the vortex where his body was torn apart before entering the black hole.” Dr.Sunny Sharma had achieved an impossible feat. He had completely annihilated a group of dreadful terrorists. No one dare to enter his motherland and try to harm his fellow citizens. With the help of his inventions, he proved to be a monster for the terrorists.

Dr. Sunny conveyed the grand success of his plan to his dear friends. Inspector Shashank and SI Govind went to the location of the slain terrorists’ hideout. He got a rousing welcome from everyone. He received the State Bravery award from the Chief Minister. His assistant, Lavanya, beamed at him in pride. After the conclusion of the award ceremony, Sunny did what no other scientists would do. He destroyed his inventions and burned the formulas so that no one could ever think of misusing them. His patriotism towards his country mattered more to him than his inventions.

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (78)

THE SPECIAL NOTEBOOK (PART 16) : A SHORT STORY BY ME

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Neeraj was too tongue tied to speak because the speaker was none other than his mother, Radhika. He gulped as he realized that his mid day dream turned out to be true. He loved her but only after his dear father. Radhika was pointing a gun at him. She continued to grin like an evil witch about to claim an innocent life. She said, ” Your mind must be full of questions, am I right? Don’t you worry, my darling son. You have the right to know everything. Be prepared for the first biggest shock of your life. You are not our son. We adopted you from Seva Sadan Anathalay after my family doctor confirmed that I couldn’t conceive. We were the proud parents of a bonny boy. I loved you too until your father preferred playing with you than paying me any attention. He didn’t allow me to leave you in the daycare center so that I could go for a job. That man was a big pain in my behind. I received job offers from overseas but your dad emotionally blackmailed me into giving up my dreams to raising you.

Why is it that it’s always a woman who has to compromise? Your father adored you and ensured that I spent my maximum time with you, singing lullabies and changing your dirty diapers. I got frustrated, so I started searching for true love outside a failing marriage. I only married your father because of the fat bank balance that he had. How would I know that the man whom I loved was impotent? You know what that means, right? He wasn’t a man enough to father you. I tried to get rid of him by forcing him to file for the divorce papers. He refused to sign along the dotted lines. Somehow, he quit his well paying job to turn into an author. This was the last straw for me.

After days of fighting, blackmail and threatening, your father signed the divorce papers. The alimony that he agreed to pay me wasn’t enough to meet my expenses. I wanted to stake claim to his entire property to compensate for the mental and emotional damage that I went through while raising you. Your father’s friend, Amit, gave me the much needed support. We hatched a plan to humiliate your father into ending his life. Archana Khandve is my most trusted employee but she didn’t know me by my name or face. I started a group that dealt in human trafficking and made Amit, my partner in crime. He got too greedy and wanted me to handover my growing business in his name so that he would marry me. I refused to oblige. He was so furious that he threatened to expose me in front of you. So I had him killed and enacted a little drama to seek your sympathy. You fell for my charms and started behaving like a good, responsible son. I planned these attacks on myself so that you would never ever doubt me. My original plan has been to usurp your father’s properties worth crores of rupees. In his will, he left you as his sole beneficiary. You aren’t even his biological child. I never knew that you had cruel blood in your veins until I started reading your notes. I hope I have answered all your questions now.

Subhash, give him the papers to sign.” Neeraj was in tears. His whole world came tumbling down when he learned that he wasn’t his parents’ biological child. He knew that he had no chance for survival as he was surrounded by evil people who were smirking at his disheveled appearance. Neeraj took the paper that he was about to sign. His life was a big lie. Everyone whom he had trusted had betrayed him. His own father forgot to tell him that he had been adopted. How could he have been so stupid? Radhika never fussed over him like other mothers. She was too selfish and only concerned with herself. He remembered his childhood where Pranav made it a point to attend the parents teacher meeting when Radhika didn’t bother to show up even for a single one.

Radhika had dragged him along to stay with her, merely to show that she was a concerned mother but her real intention was to extort child support as well. Just as he was about to sign the document, the door to the warehouse burst open and who should enter?

Pranav Sagar….. Radhika screamed in horror whereas Neeraj could not believe his eyes. Pranav smiled at his son and said, “I am not a ghost, son. I am still alive. I am so sorry that this characterless woman caused you so much pain and trouble.” Radhika yelled, ” But you had committed suicide. How did you turn up alive? Did you forget that I still have your porn photos with Archana to get you into trouble?” Pranav chuckled, ” Is it so? By the way, I have a surprise for you. Before you do anything foolish, just turn around.” Radhika’s eyes widened in horror as she saw the dead ‘ Amit’ walking towards her with a handcuff. Radhika screamed and so did Archana. Radhika said, ” How could you still be alive? I had paid a hefty sum to Subhash and his men to get rid of you? ” Amit replied, ” First, I would like to thank you for confessing to your crimes. Secondly, you were merely a pawn in the hands of our police department. Your ex-husband, Pranav, isn’t just an ordinary author but Police Superintendent. He has been investigating a series of crime against women, who were kidnapped, raped, and forced into prostitution. Some were even murdered. Do you remember leaving your phone behind when you visited him to ask for the divorce? You left your phone behind. He received phone calls from clients calling you to supply young flesh. He was so furious that he called me to hatch a plan to expose you and your entire group. I pretended to fall in love with you but never touched your disgusting body. When you moved away to your house in Pune with Neeraj, you drank too much, one day and slept with a stranger. In fact, Sir had asked me to keep tabs on you. I caught your lover with his pants down and had him arrested. I hated violating your privacy but had to check upon you. I discovered that you had strayed away into the path of crime with your unending lust for sex! I saw you talking to someone over the phone on plotting Pranav Sir’s downfall. You know the rest of the story except that when you were plotting to get rid of Sir and Neeraj, we were plotting to gather enough evidence linking you to various crimes against humanity.”

Neeraj was at the loss of words. He looked at Amit with awe and fascination as he arrested Subhash, Archana and other gang members. Pranav asked a lady constable to arrest Radhika. Neeraj was so delighted to see his father that he hugged him and almost sobbed. Amit winked at him, and said, “See you later, champ. I know you don’t like me but I am very fond of you. You are like a son I never had and found it very difficult to act like a jerk to you.” Neeraj hung his head in shame and said, ” I have been so stupid. I should not have judged you. I am so sorry. I would like to be your friend. Will you ever forgive me? ” Amit hugged him and they high fived as Pranav watched in amusement and chuckled. The notebook wasn’t so special after all.

( The end with a new beginning).

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (77)

THE SPECIAL NOTEBOOK (PART 15) : A SHORT STORY By ME.

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Neeraj was wary of Subhash’s sinister designs. He wished that Subhash would land behind bars as per his intention. He had a rude shock as this was the first time that his second wish remained unfulfilled. It had been two weeks since Subhash and Archana broke up. But there had been no sign of Subhash resorting to alcoholism. On the contrary, he was in a pleasant mood, trying to woo his mother.

Neeraj was puzzled. How did his plan fail? The special notebook used to grant his every wish. Why did Subhash escape from a miserable fate? He had more questions than answers. He had to test the effectiveness of the notebook. After coming back from school, he went straight to his room and wrote :
Today I want to have pizza for dinner.
Later that night, Subhash brought Pizza to celebrate his recent promotion. Neeraj finished his dinner and thanked him before going to his room. Neeraj rewrote his original intention of getting Subhash arrested. This plan, too, fizzled out as Subhash showed no signs of drinking.

One day, when he came home, he noticed his mother glowing like a heroine. He asked her, ” Hey, Mom! What’s special today? You are looking gorgeous.” Radhika smiled and showed her right hand, pointing towards the diamond ring in her finger. She said, ” Finally, ‘I met the man of my dreams. Inspector Subhash just proposed to me. He is a fatherly figure to you and rather fond of you than Amit. What do you think? ” Neeraj could not believe his mom could be so characterless. She already lost Pranav, then Amit, and now she fell for Subhash, a fraud.

He was too stunned to speak. His mother assumed his silence as approval. Neeraj was in a dilemma. How could he prevent her from marrying Subhash? He wanted to covet her wealth. Neeraj had no proof to accuse Subhash and the inspector could simply laugh it off, as a fabricated tale. How could he expose Subhash without hurting his mother’s feeling? He wanted to speak to his father. He took out the note book to summon his father’s soul. His father’s soul didn’t appear. How did it happen? This could only mean that either the notebook was no longer special or it had been swapped.

Neeraj wanted to wring Subhash’s neck for the infringement of his privacy. He probably swapped his notebook. But how and why? He had too many questions. Before going to sleep, he tried his luck for the last time and wrote ” I want to know the truth.”

The next day, he got ready to go to school. He picked up his school bag and kissed his mother goodbye. The moment he stepped out of the gate, someone clamped a handkerchief over his mouth. He fell unconscious and the kidnapper dumped him on the backseat of his car. The car started moving at a great speed.

An hour later, Neeraj woke up, feeling groggy. His throat was parched and he was feeling weak. One of the henchmen noticed him waking up. He brought down the gag and asked what he wanted. Neeraj replied, “I want water.” The goon offered him a glass of water and went to fetch his boss. Ten minutes later, Neeraj’s eyes widened in horror as Archana Khandve who was supposed to be in a mental institution, strode towards him with an evil grin on her face.

” So, here we meet again, dear Neeraj, ” she cackled. She reminded him of Dolores Umbridge of Harry Potter. She continued, ” Tsk….. Tsk…. I thought you were a good Mama’s boy. You have been writing some fabulous stories for TV daily soaps. You wanted me to go insane as my new lover dumped me after robbing me of my wealth. You should be ashamed of yourself. I am sure you did this only after you found out about me and Subhash. Bad boys need to be punished. What should I do to punish you? Your mom….. She’s your weakness, right? Let Subhash bring her here and you watch her die.”
” That’s enough, ” commanded a shrill female voice. Archana cowered a bit and replied, ” Sorry, Ma’am. I got carried away. ” Ma’am was the leader of this crime syndicate. Her voice addressed Neeraj. ” So,” she said, “You want to know the truth, right?” Neeraj received a jolt. He stammered, ” How did you know? Are you a magician or a scientist? ” The woman chuckled, ” Well, I am neither. First, I want you to know that there’s nothing special about the notebook that your father gave you. In fact, it was I who had sent the notebook.” ” You are lying,” yelled Neeraj, ” How is it possible that I met with my father’s ghost,summoning it at my will? ” The woman chuckled, ” You are such a baby. Just wait. Would you like to see your father again? ” Neeraj was dumbfound. A phantom emerged in the middle of the room. It was his father’s ghost. Neeraj wanted to speak to him but the phantom started to fade away.

Ma’am asked him, ” Did you like my new hologram generator? I had it attached along with a tiny microchip in the midst of your special notebook. Your writing would be visible to me. Everytime you wrote something, I got the message on my smartphone and tried to fulfill most of them. But when you planned something sinister for my ardent followers, I couldn’t keep quiet and let you get away with it. You have a bossy attitude and your character stinks.” Neeraj questioned her, ” What do you want from me?” The lady said, ” You are a smart boy. I like you. Before his death, your father left all his properties in your name and a frugal money for your mother. I want you to sign the dotted line in which it says that you are willingly transferring your wealth in my name. Then, I will let you go after you give up your inheritance.”

Neeraj couldn’t contain his curiosity any longer. He asked her, ” Who are you? Why don’t you come to meet me? ” The woman laughed heartily and replied, ” Fair enough. It’s my duty to honor your last wish.”

Neeraj screamed in horror as he saw a silhouette coming into light and behind her, Inspector Subhash followed. Who was the mysterious woman? Will Neeraj escape unharmed or die while seeking justice for his dead father? Watch out for the final episode of the Special Notebook.

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (76)

THE SCIENTIST WHO TURNED INTO A MONSTER ( PART 10): A SHORT STORY BY ME.

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Sunny’s charming disposition won over the hardcore leader of the militants. Shafeeq and Ajmal’s envy and hatred for Sunny grew day by day. Sunny was quick enough to notice the change which could spell disaster for his dangerous mission. He knew that they wouldn’t hesitate to kill him. He had no choice except to silence them forever. It would serve a dual purpose. He would avenge the death of his friend and his family plus he would be able to save his own skin until he gets caught. It was nearly a week after the safe return of the captured militants. Nobody was hostile towards him, except these two. He conceived a plan to eliminate these two.

Nearly a week had passed, since Sunny joined the group. Ajmal and Shafeeq were planning to eliminate Sunny without rousing any suspicion from their boss, Ahmed. They had to make it look like an accident. Sunny had overheard their plans to get rid of him and regain their boss’s confidence. He was busy sketching the design of his next weapon when he saw Shafeeq and Ajmal laughing outside his room. He decided to surprise them and left his work to meet them. He said, ” Hello, there! I was getting bored. So, I thought ‘I would join your conversation.” The deadly duo looked at each other. Sunny chuckled, ” Judging by the expression on your faces, I would better mind my own business. Can you get me tea and snacks?” He handed them 500 bucks and asked them to keep the change. They grumbled but took the money from him. When they came back, Shafeeq handed him a thermos filled with tea and some pastries. Sunny took this opportunity to use his invention on him. First, he clicked the mind reader ( Yellow Button). He could hear his thoughts. Shafeeq was thinking, ” Enjoy your stay for a couple of days more and then be prepared to meet your creator.” Sunny suppressed a chuckle and then, pressed the red button to hypnotize him.

Sunny had listened to Ahmed’s conspiracy of planting a bomb near Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. He thought of a plan to foil their bid and pin the blame on one of their comrades. He said, ” Look into my eyes carefully. You will now obey my orders. Steal Ajmal’s mobile phone from his pocket and contact this number. Tell them that a bomb has been planted in Jantar Mantar which is scheduled to go off in an hour. Replace the phone without his knowledge, into his pocket. ” Shafeeq was hypnotized. He acted like a zombie. He saw Ajmal watching a cricket match on TV. He crept behind him stealthily and took out the mobile from his pocket. He came out and dialled the number given by Sunny to inform them about a possible bomb blast. He came back and put back the phone into his pocket. Ajmal didn’t even notice that someone had taken his mobile. Shafeeq met Sunny and told him that he had completed the mission. Shafeeq would be under the hypnotic state for the next 24 hours unless Sunny snapped him out of his present state.

Sunny had no intention of doing so. He dismissed Shafeeq, asking him to take rest for the day. Meanwhile, Sunny received a text message on his Smartwatch from Dinesh, thanking him for averting a great tragedy. Due to the phone call received, his officers were able to reach on time to diffuse the bomb. Sunny sent him a thumbs up emoji and deleted the messages. An hour later, there was a huge uproar and Ahmed yelled, ” How did our plan fail? Who informed the police about our plans? ” Ajmal thought this was the perfect opportunity to pin the blame on Sunny and get him killed. He said, ” Boss, Sunny, the scientist, must be the spy working for the armed forces. He must have informed them.” Ahmed replied, ” Are you out of your mind? That guy is all for seeking revenge and is now working on a special project for us. What proof do you have on his involvement? ” Just then, Shafeeq entered the room, and Ajmal whispered his perfect plan to get rid of Sunny. Shafeeq said, ” Boss, we do have a black sheep among us.” Ajmal nodded gleefully as he thought that his partner would name Sunny. The grin soon faded as Shafeeq said, ” Boss, the mole is none other than our Ajmal. I caught him speaking to someone over the phone.” Ajmal cried, ” What’s wrong with you? Has the new guy bribed you to lie about me? I am innocent. Please check my mobile. I never called anyone.” Ahmed picked his mobile and saw an unknown number. He re-dialled it and heard Dinesh ‘s voice, ” Hello, Army Headquarters, Major Dinesh Mathur speaking.” Ahmed was livid. He yelled, ” You lying bastard. How dare you accuse an innocent man? ” He took out his sword and with one swoop, beheaded Ajmal. His head rolled off and his torso fell at his feet. He was still glowing in fury. “Dispose off his body,” he ordered, as Shafeeq and a couple of men buried him.

Sunny remained hidden in his room. He realized that the danger was far from over as long as Shafeeq lived. He had to get rid of him or else he would come to his senses the next day and blabber about his hidden invention. As soon as Shafeeq returned, Sunny spotted him and offered his condolences. He was still under a hypnotic state. So, Sunny issued another order. He said, ” Now, you are going to write a suicide note and confess to your crime for having falsely implicated Ahmed as it was you who informed the army officer. And then hang yourself.” Shafeeq simply nodded. He wrote a suicide note and hung himself after a while.
When his friend, Mushtak, entered his room, he screamed aloud, ” Ya Allah! Not you too, Shafeeq.” Just then he noticed a piece of paper on the table that was fluttering under a paper weight. He lifted it and was shocked to read the content. He rushed to show this message to his boss. Ahmed thundered, ” This traitor cost me my most trusted servant. ‘I won’t tolerate betrayal. Tomorrow I am going to conduct the test of loyalty. Those who fail the test would be done to death, Am ‘I clear? ” His followers nodded out of fear.

Sunny was sweating profusely. He had gotten himself into trouble. What would be Sunny’s fate? Would he pass the test Or lose his life? Check out the next episode of The Scientist Who Turned into a Monster.

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (75)

THE SPECIAL NOTEBOOK (PART 14) : A SHORT STORY BY ME.

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Neeraj felt ashamed of the hot tears streaming down his eyes. “Boys don’t cry!” he told himself, ” Not only you are a boy but now a teenager too with the responsibility of taking care of his mother. No! I am not going to shed any more tears. Dad was right. I should have seen it earlier. Everytime Mom was attacked, Archana always managed to be on time to save her and Inspector Subhash would conduct the inquiry. Now, both of them have been exposed. I am not going to forgive them. It’s time to teach them both a lesson they would never forget. ” Neeraj had decided to feign the ignorance of their betrayal and continue to act normal while hatching a conspiracy to punish them. Death would be a simple punishment. Shame, betrayal, broken heart, and committing them to the mental institution would be the best option. This would be a fate worse than dying.

Neeraj wiped away his tears and came back to his mother with a fake smile on his face. Radhika was reading a book when he came in. Before they could have a proper conversation, a nurse entered her room and checked her vitals. She went back with the reports to the doctor. Later that evening, Radhika got discharged. Inspector Subhash was waiting for them. He said, ” Ma’am, I have a small suggestion. Please don’t turn me down. There have too many attacks on you during the past few days and not to mention the kidnapping. I would be honored if you accept my request to stay with Neeraj at my home, at least for a month, until I investigate who’s behind this conspiracy.” Neeraj hoped his mother would firmly refuse. But to his consternation, she gladly accepted his offer and said, ” Why, Thank you so much, Inspector. We would love to stay with you. I appreciate your going out of your way to accommodate us. ” Neeraj, now wished, that the earth would swallow him instead of going to stay with the cheap deceit.

His mother, further embarrassed him by saying, ” Neeraj always admires you, Sir. He considers you as his role model. I hope you would give him on the career he wishes to pursue.” Neeraj’s jaw was paining after continuing to grin like an idiot. Inspector Subhash took them to his apartment which looked more like a penthouse. Neeraj admired the interiors. The Apartment was fully air conditioned. The foyer was so grand that even Radhika admired the luxurious apartment. The house was twice as big as theirs with a chandelier in the living room and wall sconces on each of the four walls. There were expensive paintings in ornate frames and an exquisite coffee table with magazines on them. Subhash gave them a tour of the house which consisted three bedrooms, a living room, two bathrooms and a balcony that offered a great view. Subhash showed them to their respective rooms.

Neeraj forgot his hatred for the scheming rogue of an inspector when he entered his room. He was delighted to find a jumbo sized bed with a study table and a reading lamp affixed to one of the corners of his bedpost.


He took off his footwear and hopped into the bed. He was in the seventh heaven until a dreadful realization hit him hard. He and his mother were caught in a death trap. They had straight away walked into the lion’s den. He remembered Archana talking about a Ma’am. Some lady was behind this ugly drama of bloodshed and betrayal. What if Subhash poisoned them? What if he tried to make their deaths look like an accident? He shuddered to even think of the dreadful possibilities. He had to act fast to keep them alive and safe.

He thought of creating a rift between the rogue couple. He took out his special notebook and wrote the first part of his big plan. He wrote:

I wish Archana Khandve finds a new, handsome guy, who pretends to be a wealthy socialite.She should dump Subhash. He should consume alcohol after being mercilessly rejected and get involved in a drunken brawl. He should be expelled from the police force and get arrested for his misorderly conduct.

Archana ‘s new boyfriend should lure her into falling in love with him to such an extent that she would willingly share her bank details with him. He would drain out all her finances and refuse to marry her. His ditching her abruptly should create an everlasting impact on her. She should lose her sanity and become committed to an asylum. Subhash should also meet with a similar fate. His loss of reputation and the stigma of incarceration coupled with a broken heart should rattle him in such a way that he too ended up in a mental hospital.

Neeraj felt thrilled with the script that was supposed to take place. A pang of guilt struck him for thinking like an ace conspirator. His script looked like that of a TV daily soap but then he was reminded of their treachery. The attack on Radha was planned by Archana. He had overheard her saying that she wanted her dead. Why did she save her life if she wanted his mom out of the picture?


Neeraj prayed that their ordeal should get over and they escaped unhurt from these greedy human monsters.

As luck would have it, Neeraj’s plan had started working. The following week, Neeraj woke up early as he heard a heated argument . He heard a man and a woman yelling at each other at an alarmingly high decibel that could be heard by the entire neighborhood.
He slightly opened his bedroom door to listen to the conversation.

Subhash screamed, ” You evil witch! How could you do this to me? Doesn’t loyalty mean anything to you?” Archana raised her eyebrows as Subhash continued to holler, “Oops! I forgot that there’s no such word as loyalty in your dictionary or you wouldn’t have planned to get rid of your beloved husband to sleep with me. ” Archana yelled back, ” Mind your language. I am fed up of being dominated by you. You are always suspicious of me and have me followed. Besides, you keep on issuing orders as if I was your servant.”

Neeraj was ecstatic over the lovers’ rift. He thought, ” It serves them right for betraying my trust and belief in humanity.” Everything went according to his plan. After a month of courting and engagement, Archana’s new boyfriend, emptied her bank account, leaving her penniless. He also broke off their engagement and introduced his new girlfriend to her. Mad with grief, Archana tried to kill herself several times. She got admitted to a lunatic asylum after losing her sanity.

Will Neeraj’s plan to have Subhash behind bars and later to a lunatic asylum work out? Or would Subhash discover his secret and kill him and his Mom? Watch out for the next episode of The Special Notebook for an interesting twist in the tale.

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (74)

THE SCIENTIST WHO TURNED INTO A MONSTER ( PART 9) : A SHORT STORY BY ME

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Sunny followed Ajmal and Shafeeq to their hideout. Ahmed was waiting for them and welcomed them with open arms. Sunny had already explained his plan to Shashank and Govind and also to his friend in the army, Dinesh. Later that afternoon, Dinesh met his trusted officers and explained to them about the existence of a mole in their midst. They had to convene a fake meeting on their latest acquisition of weapons. They would fill some boxes with toy rifles for the mole to find out and pass on the message to his comrades. The army officers would follow him when he tried to smuggle the boxes and catch him red handed.

Their plan was a great success. The cadet (acting on behalf of the terrorists) noted everything down in Urdu and contacted his cronies to pick up the shipment in exchange for the boxes filled with stones. Dinesh and his officers, Ranjit Singh and Chander Babu with a few other soldiers trailed the cadet, Nawaz Khan. Their sting operation was a great success. They caught the entire group.

No sooner did Ahmed see Sunny, he raised his eyebrow as to question his presence but Sunny merely glanced at Ajmal for the ‘recommendation.’ Ajmal whispered something into his boss’s ears. Ahmed asked him, “How can I believe you? Is there any way you could prove your allegiance to me? ” Sunny laughed and said, “You will be receiving a call shortly that your companions in Delhi have been arrested for trying to steal Military equipments. I will be able to get them out for you. But you have to promise me that your men will come back to Mumbai where we can plan something better.” Ahmed was sceptical. Sure enough, he received a call about his men in the custody of the army. Ahmed looked at Sunny, ” How in the world did you know about the sting operation? First, can you help me secure the release of my men?”

Sunny tried to sound convincing and said, ” Oh, those idiots at the police station were foolish enough to discuss their confidential plan in front of me. I took advantage of my position and already have arranged for the escape of your guys. They will be back tomorrow morning. If I succeed in this mission, would you include me in your group? I want to see the rivers of blood flowing in this country. ” Ahmed chuckled, ” Oh, My Goodness! That’s some temper you have got. I am now really scared. Well, jokes apart! If you pass this test, you are officially a member of this group. But for now, you are a fugitive and since you helped my men, you are welcome to stay here. Don’t step out or the police will gun you down. My men will arrange for your food.”

Sunny had cleverly hidden a mic inside his shirt. The terrorists plans were clearly audible to him. He also had a spy pen camera that recorded everything. He cleared his throat to draw Ahmed’s attention. Sunny asked meekly, ” I was wondering if I could get a notebook. Since I am a scientist I am planning to invent something that could be useful for your group.” Ahmed was sceptical. Nevertheless, he asked Shafeeq to give him a diary.

Sunny seemed grateful to him and he started scribbling something right away, as the terrorists left him alone. Unknown to them, he had a smart watch and spoke to Dinesh. He said, ” Insert a tracker in their outfits and let the men escape. I assure you it’s not worth it to keep them incarcerated. They will kill each other in the race to become the next chief.” He mumbled the plan as Dinesh was highly delighted. It was risky but worth it. Sunny was just trying to gain their confidence before leading them to their imminent death.

He ended the call and hid his watch. Ahmed was rather curious to know what Sunny was planning to invent. He sat by his side and asked, “‘I couldn’t help but notice that you were writing something furiously. Have you already thought of your next invention? Well, what is it going to be? And you also mentioned that it would be useful for me.” Sunny said, ” I am trying to design a weapon that looks like a harmless toy, but has the capacity to mercilessly slay people even before they could realize they are going to die. “

Ahmed couldn’t believe his great luck. If Sunny was successful in this invention, he could offer them for sale to various militant group and roll in money. He was so ecstatic that he hugged Sunny. He said, ” You are like a Messiah to me. This could be your greatest invention that could make you wealthy beyond your dreams. Both of us will rule the world together. I will let you alone to work in peace. If you need anything at all, don’t hesitate to ask me. Money isn’t a constraint for me. Please start working as soon as possible. Oh! I completely forgot to ask you whether you had anything. Ajmal, why don’t you get chicken biryani for all of us? Tonight we are going to have a party to celebrate your freedom and also in the honor of Dr. Sunny Sharma, our new friend. Sunny had other plans for them. So far, no one doubted him. He kept his fingers crossed for the success of this plan.

Any miscalculation would mean the loss of his life which he didn’t bother but greatly concerned over the security risk, that the country faced. He regretted his move but now he couldn’t afford to back out. He pretended to appreciate Ahmed’s kindly gesture.

The next day, true to his words, Ahmed’s men rejoined him. Ahmed now had complete trust in Sunny. He ordered his men not to disturb Sunny as he was working on an important project and to be at his beck and call. Ajmal and Shafeeq were feeling a bit jealous of Sunny who had managed to win over their hard to please boss.

Sunny is on a dangerous mission. Will he get caught or would the terrorists become his victims? Watch out for the next episode of the Scientist who became a monster.

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (73)

THE SPECIAL NOTEBOOK (PART 13) : A SHORT STORY BY ME.

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Neeraj saw the dead Amit talking to Inspector Subhash. “How could this be possible?” Neeraj thought, “‘I must be dreaming. How can a dead man come back alive? It must be his lookalike. For the time being, it’s better to stay hidden. If he sees me, he would kill me.” Neeraj pulled the curtain over the window. His heart was beating faster than usual. He thought about his father’s wise words.

He was completely baffled by the unexpected turn of events. A few minutes later, Inspector Subhash entered Radhika’s room. He saw Neeraj reading his book in complete silence. He looked pale and terrified. Subhash understood everything. He said, ” Hi Junior Detective, I think you have just seen Amit back on his feet, right. But let me tell you that Amit is truly dead. This person is Vikrant and he is a police informer. He had been in an accident and his face was damaged. At that time, Amit’s killer wasn’t arrested yet. So, we thought of arranging for Amit’s lookalike to flush out the killer from his hiding. I don’t blame you for getting scared. I would be terrified too, if I saw a dead man turn up from his grave.” Neeraj grinned and relaxed. Subhash reassured him that there was nothing to be worried about.

Neeraj said, ” Can we have some coffee, please? ” Subhash replied with a grin, ” Just wait here, young man. I will be back with the coffee. Don’t leave your mother unattended.” Neeraj chided himself for unnecessarily jumping into a wrong conclusion. He felt more relaxed and scrolled through his mobile.

” Hello, Knock, Knock, ” said a familiar voice as Neeraj raised his head to see the new arrival. Archana Khandve smiled at him with a bouquet and a bag of fruits. Neeraj welcomed her. He said, ” Thank you so much, aunty. I will always remain indebted to you. You saved my mom once again.” Archana blushed and replied, ” Oh, it was nothing! Don’t mention it. It was an unexpected attacked and I had to save both of us.”

Neeraj offered her a seat. Radhika slowly opened her eyes and gave a weak grin. ” Hi, Archu,” she said, “I am so sorry for the trouble yet again. You are like my sister. Sometimes I wish I was never involved with Amit. I don’t think I can endure another attack like this.” Archana gently squeezed her hand and said, ” Now, don’t blame yourself for the fiasco. Amit had it coming. You will be alright. By the way, you are lucky to have a wonderful son like Neeraj.”

It was at this moment that Inspector Subhash made his grand entry. ” Here you go, Neeraj” added the inspector handing him the Styrofoam cup with coffee to the brim. Some of it got spilt on the floor. ” Oops, ” he said, “I didn’t know you had a visitor.” Neeraj took the coffee from him and gave it to Archana. He said, ” Let’s leave the two friends alone or the nurse would have us thrown out for overcrowding.” Subhash had already finished his coffee but took Neeraj to the cafeteria where he ordered tea instead with Samosa. They discussed about the latest mystery books. Neeraj trusted Subhash and talked to him about his personal problems, seeking guidance from him. Anyone would think that they were father and son rather than friends.

Subhash paid the bill and they went back to Radhika’s room. Archana said, ” Ok, dear. Take care. I will drop in for another visit when you are home.” Inspector Subhash offered to show her out as a courtesy. They went out. Neeraj observed that Archana had left her purse behind. He said, ” Mom, Archana aunty has forgotten her purse. Let me give it to her. I will be back in a jiffy. Would you be able to manage on your own? ” Radhika nodded and she closed her eyes again. Neeraj exited the hospital corridor. He heard someone laughing. He turned towards the source of the sound and saw Archana locking her lips with Inspector Subhash. They were quite intimate. They kissed passionately for five minutes and with great difficulty, broke away for want of air. Archana said, ” So, you managed to win the trust of that boy. Amit failed to do this. Great job, darling. Now, try to win over Radhika.” Subhash gave her a sly look, ” Would you bear it if I married her instead of you? It’s not right, sweetheart. I love only you. I admit she’s attractive but will never be in the same league as you.” Archana chuckled, ” Oh, honey! The marriage would only be for the sake of the society. Don’t you watch movies? Win over the lady and make her hand over her property in your name and get rid of both the mother and son. The poor bitch believes I saved her life. This is just a part of an act. I want her to die.”

” But why?” asked Subhash.

Archana replied, “Her husband, Pranav, was a popular guy in our college. I was in love with him. But he was smitten by his junior Radhika. Can you imagine my fury when I saw him proposing her? I decided to ruin their lives. I wreaked havoc in their lives by forcing my beloved husband Amit to have affair with her. I never imagined he would get her pregnant. I deliberately gave bad reviews to Pranav’s book. I pretended to offer my moral support to Pranav and tried my best to persuade him to sleep with him. Can you believe it? In spite of her indifferent attitude towards him, Pranav was always loyal to his wife. He loved her sincerely. The stupid woman didn’t realize what a wonderful life partner she had! When Pranav finally realized that the love of his life wasn’t interested in living with him, he committed suicide. I know the real reason behind his death. It wasn’t the failure of his book but a broken heart. He loved both Radhika and Neeraj. He couldn’t think of living without them even for a moment. But no! Miss Attitude wanted money, power, and luxury. And look where it has her landed! Now, enough of my banter. Do whatever it takes to impress Neeraj and then marry Radhika. I will plan her death eventually. But do not forget to take her signature on the property papers. If you fail in this mission, our Ma’am will be highly displeased and order our deaths.”

Neeraj felt as if someone had stabbed him in the heart. He couldn’t believe that his favorite duo could stoop so low and betray his trust. His eyes were brimming with tears. He knew that he was up against a formidable enemy, a crime syndicate after his father’s wealth. He wiped them away as he slowly emerged from his hiding place with Archana’s purse in his hands. Archana and Subhash looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Neeraj put on a fake smile and said, ” Aunty, I just wanted to return your purse. I must go back to my Mom.” He gave no indication of having eavesdropped on them. They heaved a sigh of relief.

Neeraj had already planned something big for the offending couple. What will happen next will absolutely leave you no clue! Next episode will be a roller coaster thriller. Watch out for the Special Notebook.

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (72)

THE SCIENTIST WHO TURNED INTO A MONSTER ( PART 8) : A SHORT STORY BY ME.

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As the recording ended with Shafeeq and Ajmal’s arrest, Shashank was both relieved as well as upset. Relieved because his idol was absolutely innocent, and upset because a very dangerous terrorist organization was threatening the security of the whole country. Sunny removed the connection and addressed both Shashank and Govind.

Sunny said, “I have a plan. Just as their spy infiltrated into Indian Army, I am going to get within the terrorist group and leak their secrets.” Shashank and Govind were shocked. Shashank said, ” Sir, it’s a highly risky plan. We can’t afford to lose a genius like you. Isn’t there any other alternative?” Sunny said, “‘I am afraid there’s no choice. My gadgets are responsible for wreaking havoc on my friend and his family. It’s only fair that I should set right things as they were before my inventions. I have a plan. Please do not refuse because the security of entire nation is at stake.” He explained to them his next course of action. The Inspector and SI reluctantly agreed to his plan. After having their tea, Sunny called one of his close friends, Dinesh, an Army officer in New Delhi. He said, ” There’s a mole in your army headquarters who must be passing confidential information to the enemies. I am sending you his pic. Don’t take any action against him right now. To begin with, create fake plans and see if he falls for the ploy. You needn’t court martial him or have him arrested for espionage. His own folks will get him killed to save their skins. Meanwhile, I will be joining their group and keep you updated on their next move.” ” But, ” Dinesh insisted, “This is extremely dangerous. If you get caught, the leader of the terrorist group will have you tortured and beheaded.”

Sunny replied, ” If I had several lives, I would gladly lay them down for the sake of my country. I am not going to allow my years of hard work fall into the wrong hands. In fact, everyone has only seen me as a scientist and a normal human. I am going to assume the form of the terrorist slayers and get them uprooted from Mother India forever. Jai Hind!”

Shashank and Govind looked at him with great admiration and a newfound respect over his true patriotism. Dinesh was very proud of his friend too and replied, ” So be it, dear Sunny. Your wish is my command. First, let’s launch an attack on the first group of terrorists who might head this way.” He promised to stay in touch with his friend. According to the plan, Shashank and Govind handcuffed Sunny and spread the false news of his arrest in connection with the Mumbai murders.

Ahmed who was watching TV, couldn’t control his glee at the success of his evil scheme. He went to meet his pals in a disguise and they were quite excited. They had no idea that it was merely a ploy to plot their downfall.

The next day, Inspector Shashank locked Sunny in the same prison as Shafeeq and Ajmal. Sunny was using the most foul language and winked at Shashank to bear with his tantrums. Sunny yelled, ” You are ungrateful and wretched people. How many times do I have to tell you that I didn’t kill anyone? ” The two scoundrels grinned at his outburst and approached him, ” What’s the matter? Why have you been incarcerated for? ” asked Ajmal.

Sunny wiped a non existent tear from his right eye and said, “I have been accused of killing my friend and his family for money. I didn’t do anything but I have no proof of my innocence. After all the years of my hard work and dedication, this is how my countrymen are repaying me. I have now decided to seek revenge for the injustice meted out to me. How I wish I could get my hands on some weapons and gun down these people! It’s better to get my hands smeared in blood rather than being falsely accused of a crime that I didn’t commit. “

Shafeeq replied, ” Oh, you poor guy! Both of us can help each other. If you help us escape from the prison, we would gladly take you to meet our boss and then we can unleash a reign of terror in this country. What do you say? ” Sunny was lost in thoughts so as not to appear too eager to arouse their suspicion.

” Well, “demanded Ajmal, “‘we haven’t got all day to wait for your answer. Either say yes or languish in this stinking jail.” Sunny appeared sheepish and said, ” Old habits die hard. Can you at least give me some time to think over your proposal? ” The duo nodded and left him alone. Later that night, Sunny didn’t sleep a wink because of the mosquitoes and the baddies’ snoring. The next day, he woke both Ajmal and Shafeeq and said, “Count me in. I have a fantastic plan to escape. You just wait and watch.” He summoned a constable posted outside his cell and winked at him. The constable understood what to do. Sunny faked hypnotism on him and the cop opened the prison door to let out the dangerous inmates. Ajmal and Shafeeq couldn’t believe their luck. Their boss, Ahmed, had failed to rescue them but this man had got them out so easily.

Ajmal took out the cop’s mobile and called his boss as the latter still appeared to be in a trance. He said, ” Boss, we have news for you. The scientist who was arrested is now in our side. He helped us escape from this prison. ‘I think he could be a valuable asset to our group and we can always make him create new gadgets for all of us. What do you say?”

Ahmed was delighted to have another member. He asked Ajmal to bring Sunny to their new hideout in an old rice mill along the Mumbai Pune Highway. Sunny had hidden his gadgets and remote inside a special pouch hidden inside his shirt. Will Sunny be accepted in the group or get caught and killed? Watch out for the next thrilling episode of The Scientist Who Turned Into Monster.

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (71)

THE SPECIAL NOTEBOOK (PART 12) : A SHORT STORY BY ME.

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Finally, it was over. Blood was splattered all over the wall. There had been a fierce battle for survival and in the end……… Archana Khandve had the last laugh. She had managed to snatch the weapon from the stranger and plunged it straight into his heart like a mad woman. She noticed the unconscious Radhika and gave a wicked smile. She considered murdering her as well fearing her secret would be out. Right now, Radhika’s life was too valuable. She had to live until……

She called an ambulance as well as the police. Inspector Subhash and his men took over the investigation as one of the lady constables probed Archana. She used her exemplary acting skills to put on the emotions of a woman badly affected by the trauma of killing someone in self-defense. She sobbed and sniffled, ” ‘I….. I am sorry. I couldn’t help it. This man came out of nowhere, attacked my friend Radhika, and was about to murder me as well. I wrestled the knife out of him and in the scuffle that followed, I had stabbed him accidentally. Please believe me. ” The blood splatters on the wall told a different story. Inspector Subhash said, ” Don’t worry, Ma’am. I am sure you did it in self-defense. But ‘we have to complete certain legal formalities. It would be better if you call your lawyer and give your statement in his presence. ” The paramedics arrived and removed the corpse of the stranger from the floor. A couple of them checked Radhika’s vitals and got her admitted to the hospital. This was the second time since Amit’s death, that Radhika was hospitalized.

Inspector Subhash took Archana’s statement and let her go. He also called Forensic Experts to gather evidence that corroborated Archana’s story. Later, he visited Radhika in the hospital. She had regained consciousness. She asked, ” How did I end up here? ” Inspector Subhash probed,” Don’t you remember anything before you got hurt and lost your consciousness?” Radhika said, ” I am sorry I can’t remember anything except a powerful blow to my head and every thing became dark. Before that, I was in the kitchen preparing tea for my friend Archana. That’s it.”He noted down her statement and advised her to take complete rest.

His next stop was Neeraj’s school. Neeraj was summoned to the Principal’s office where Subhash was waiting for him. Neeraj looked alarmed and asked, “What’s wrong, Inspector? What happened to my mom? Is she alright?” Inspector Subhash gave a weak smile, “‘I wish I could say everything is alright. But someone attacked your mom and she’s in the hospital. She’s completely alright and it’s just a concussion. Your mom must be a strong woman to survive a strong attack like that. I am really sorry. I should not have withdrawn the security. It seems you and your mother are still facing a great risk from Amit’s possible murderer.”

Neeraj was baffled. He said, ” But you already have his murderer in the police custody, right? Or has he become a fugitive?” The inspector was searching for an appropriate answer as Neeraj was waiting for the answer. The principal shook his head and said, “‘I think you should be with your mother until she recovers. I will ask your class teacher to help you with your notes.”

Neeraj went back to his classroom to walk out with the backpack. The principal advised the Inspector to be more tactful in his approach while conveying bad news on his Mom. The Inspector waited for Neeraj to come out. As soon as he came out, he bombarded the Inspector with a string of questions. Subhash said, ” The main accused is still behind bars. The guy who attacked your mom must be his accomplice.” Neeraj questioned, ” Have you arrested him? ” Subhash didn’t know how to tell him that his house was now a crime scene with blood all over the walls in the living room.

He decided to tell him the truth. ” The guy won’t bother you because he’s dead. Your house is now officially a crime scene.” He went on to explain how the stranger had sneaked into the house and struck his mother on the head. He made it to the living room and saw Archana speaking to someone on the phone. They had a fight and Archana killed him in self-defense.

In spite of the dreadful incident, Neeraj looked quite excited. “Wow! That’s brave of Archana aunty, “he quoted, “Is the bloodstain still there on the walls? I have never seen a real crime scene. It’s so cool. I would like to take some snaps and post it on the Facebook. My friends would be so jealous of me.” The Inspector gave him a stern look and admonished him, ” There’s nothing cool about a murder. I didn’t know you were so insensitive, son. Murder or killing someone is never cool. You don’t understand the value of loss of a life. What if it was your mother instead of her attacker? Then, you would think twice before posting it on Facebook, right? “

Neeraj was ashamed of himself. He mumbled a quick apology. The inspector said, “‘I think it would be better if you and your mother stay with me for a while until things cool down.” Neeraj hesitated initially but agreed. The inspector said, ” Let’s visit your home and get your things packed along with your mother’s.” They went to Neeraj’s house where he was stumped to find bloodstains on the wall. The Inspector was right. Getting murdered was not only scary but also it made him throw up. The Inspector tried to stifle his grin as he watched Neeraj coming out of the toilet and going straight to his bedroom. He took out the special notebook and kept it inside his school bag. He had a nagging feeling that his dead father was right. The danger was far from over. As he tried to replay the Inspector’s version of the scary incident in his mind, he found some loopholes quite disturbing. He felt that his father was right all along.

Inspector Subhash was supposed to be his hero and Archana aunty, a role model. Both of them had saved his mother’s life at different points of time. He decided to give them the benefit of doubt but also be alert for any kind of weird behavior by them. After getting his luggage, and his mother’s, he couldn’t help but ask, ” Could you please show the pic of the dead guy? It’s possible that I might be able to identify him.”

Subhash showed the pic of the dead guy. Neeraj didn’t recognize him. Without any further communication, Neeraj locked the house and handed the keys to the Inspector. While he had dinner with the Inspector at his house, he had an idea. He thought of writing it down on the special notebook. He wrote :
I wish I get to see the real culprits in this bloodbath.

He opted to skip school for the day and went to visit his mother in the hospital. The mother -son duo chatted for a while. Radhika felt tired and took a small nap, while Neeraj gazed out of the window. He couldn’t believe his eyes. He had to pinch himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. He wanted to scream in horror. What did he see that terrified him so much? Did the special notebook grant his wish to uncover the mask of the real culprit or culprits? Watch out for the next episode of the Special Notebook as it takes another interesting and unexpected turn.

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