This is the twentieth part of a story that I am writing in collaboration with six other bloggers as part of the #celebrateblogging event with BlogAdda.com.Our team is known as 'Tete-a-ten'.We have just a couple more days to go until the story endsl
Ramada Hotel, Juhu.
Outraged, Jennifer stared at her cell-phone for a long time and then
flung it on the bed. “How dare he hang up on me like that!” she thought. “Now,
I am convinced there is more to this man than his seemingly respectable ‘paediatrician
of repute’ image. She fingered her tattoo and slowly ran her fingers through
her long wavy hair, deep in thought. “What is Aryan Ahuja hiding? What is the
mystery behind this man? Is he afraid of something? Well, I am so caught up
with this mystery, I might as well see it through to the end,” she decided with
a wry smile, and reached for her phone again with determination.
Jennifer spoke with a heavily disguised rustic-sounding voice, “Hello,
Cloud Nine Hospital?This is Revathi from Glaxo here. We have a complimentary gift for Dr.
Aryan. It is a 42” flat screen TV, and Dr.Saab wants it to be
delivered to his residence. Please share the address, madamji. Our
delivery boy is waiting.”
The receptionist sensed nothing amiss, and within minutes Jennifer was
scribbling down the address before hanging up.
“Yes!” she punched the air with a big smile on her face, unable to
believe that the receptionist hadn't even realized it was she who was calling!
“I must think of a parallel career in films or in investigative journalism.
Yea! I would be good!” Still grinning, she grabbed her room keys and camera and
The taxi driver had no trouble tracing the building that Dr. Aryan Ahuja
lived in. As Jennifer paid the fare and got out, she took in the
well-maintained building, quite impressed. “Well, obviously it pays to be
a doctor!” she thought. The security guard waved her over to sign the register.
She quickly signed in with a fake name and phone number. The guard was too
distracted to pay attention, and Jennifer quickly walked into the foyer,
thankful that there was no intercom call to confirm that she was expected.
She glanced at the hastily scribbled address on the slip of paper. “Now,
let’s see, it says 9th floor” and squinting at the paper she read “C-903”.
In the swanky elevator, Jennifer quickly checked herself in the mirror, and
retouched her lipstick, swaying to the soft strains of Für Elise. “Typical
elevator music,” she thought. “But I am not complaining. I love Beethoven!”
On the 9th floor, she headed towards C-903. But right next to
it she noticed an attractively designed Warli nameplate on the adjacent door.
She came to a standstill as she read the names on the board
& Roohi Dutta
“Now, isn't that a coincidence? He lives right next door to the Duttas!”
she said, amazed at this newly-discovered link in the puzzle. “This is
getting more and more interesting”. After a bit of deliberation she decided it
would seem less suspicious if she called in on the Duttas’ and voice her
suspicions about the doctor. “What a stroke of luck!” she thought as she leaned
forward to ring the bell.
A disappointed and defeated Fanus was on his way to
the airport in a taxi. He tried Sneha’s number to let her know that she should
meet him there and also to tell her about Cyrus’ adamant decision to stay on.
However, each time he tried, the phone was disconnected. Frustrated, Fanus
pocketed his phone and slunk dejectedly into his seat.
Tara and Shekhar were in the bedroom, watching Roohi sleep. Aryan Ahuja
was in their kitchen, thoughtfully making tea for Shekhar and Tara, with mixed
feelings about their reconciliation. He sighed, wondering why he was still
single. But he knew why. There would always be just one woman for him…As his
thoughts strayed, the bell rang, rudely shaking him out of his reverie. “Tara, I’ll
get it!” he yelled.
As Jennifer waited outside, she heard a man’s voice followed by
brisk footsteps on the other side of the door. She heard the latch being
pulled, and a man in his forties with salt and pepper hair, looking surprisingly fit
for his age, opened the door. Jennifer paused to appreciate the
good-looking man in front of her. He was quite fashionably dressed, in a crisp
white shirt and ash khakis. “This Dutta guy is quite dishy,” she thought,
standing there with a smile on her face. “Yes?” said the man with an
She took a moment to get herself together. Then, suddenly she was
overtaken with thoughts about the dubious nature of Dr. Aryan. Too
anxious to think of introducing herself properly, the words tumbled out.
“Mr. Dutta, the photograph of Roohi and Cyrus? I clicked it”
“But Ms...” Dr. Aryan interrupted her to try and tell her that he was
not Shekhar, but Jennifer’s next words stunned him.
“ ..But I have something urgent to tell you. Tell me Mr. Dutta, do you
know your next door neighbor well? I came to warn you. There is something fishy
about that man. He is constantly on that movie review blog that Cyrus runs.
When I called him and asked him about Cyrus he hung up on me,” she babbled.
Dr. Aryan Ahuja looked at her with a raised eyebrow. The
smile had been replaced by a frown. “So she is the one who called me,” he
thought. “I wonder what she is after. I better lock the door in case she tries
He beckoned her inside, and she caught a whiff of his perfume as she
walked in. She loved that particular fragrance, and despite her anxiety, she
was momentarily distracted. “Polo Green,” she smiled, reminded of her brother
who also wore the same perfume.
With one swift motion the doctor secured the door. He turned to face
her, and leaning against it casually, he said, ““No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back.”