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Playing By Their Own Rules In Kalimpong

About Purnesh Bhattacharya

Purnesh Bhattacharya is a Creative Writer by profession. He had been in the advertising industry for 15 years. Currently holding the position of a Creative Director with a Mumbai based agency, he is an eager indulgent in my passion. As a winner of two advertising awards, he has always perceived advertising as a bold medium of storytelling. Purnesh a BA Graduate with Economics and also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Advertising and Public Relations. His hobbies include observation of human behavior, reading, writing, storytelling, swimming, photographing and driving long distances. His central area of interest revolves around his train journeys. He is an avid train traveler and published a series called #TrainSpotterUpdate on facebook. His dream is to set up a mentoring institute for aspiring and first time creative writers; he wants to work towards creating better storytellers for tomorrow.
Purnesh blogs at http://www.virtuousvociferous.blogspot.in

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Prologue :

‘We welcome you to Hotel Kalimpong Canary.’

The receptionist smiled at Divang. After he had filled in the form, which confirmed his booking with the hotel, he walked in. But before he could make his way to his room, he turned towards the receptionist and inquired.

‘Does this hotel serve the same sweet wine, which is supposed to originate from Canary Islands of north western Africa? I’ve heard one can rarely spot a bottle for they are not to be caught in local markets. Is it because of the slight premium in price or the extra shipping logistics. I can pay the premium because I find the flavors unique. Is it possible for you to smuggle in a bottle for me? By any chance!’

Quite impressed by Divang’s knowledge, the receptionist smiled. As a kind gesture, she replied, ‘I must say Mr Divang, you are a keen observant. This hotel does take its name from the wine and of course the décor is slightly based on the sightings of Canary Islands. But we don’t have access to that specific variety of wine. Although, we’ve an impressive range of other wines. We would love to serve you the same.’

Before making his next move, Divang walked a few steps closer to the receptionist. He looked at the badge, which displayed her name. It read, Sumona. Walking a few steps back to the place he heard the receptionist from, Divang spoke.

‘I am surprised. Before this place could be called a hotel, it used to be a home. And, if you’ve sought inspiration from the aesthetics of international islands and brought it up here to these hills, why miss out on the details, which could have rightly fit the bill?’

The receptionist returned Divang’s query with a sweet smile but didn’t reply.

 

Part 1

Having taken rest over the night’s time, Divang returned to the reception area. There he saw Sumona caught in an intense conversation over the phone. On seeing Divang, she put down the phone and greeted Divang.

‘Good morning Sir. I hope, you relaxed well. Isn’t it a pleasant morning to begin with a sightseeing trip today?’

Divang smiled at her and replied.

‘Yes of course. It is a pleasant morning. But I’m not in a mood to go on a sightseeing trip. Tell me something. If I am not mistaken, this home… I’m sorry… this hotel is hiding behind it a stretch of tea gardens, which was once easily accessible to the locals to walk through. The tea gardens served as a shortcut to a nearby village. Why can’t I see that access road any more Sumona?’

The receptionist was stunned to learn about Divang’s knowledge about the property and its surroundings. Going by the details served by Divang, she found it hard to believe that he was a mere tourist. This man, according to her, knew every little detail about the place. Before she could pause her thoughts and reply, Divang interrupted.

‘Sumona. Take me to the place which still facilitates an access to the teagardens.’
A little petrified, the receptionist spoke up in a trembled voice.

’Sir. I am not aware of any such access road. Yes, there does exists, a stretch of teagardens in the backyard; but none of us have either visited it or thought of enquiring about it. So, please forgive my audacity to stop you from being stubborn and demand anything, we are not equipped to help you with.’

Divang wouldn’t take her refusal for a reply. Before he checked in, he had purposely not revealed his purpose of visit or his intention to specifically choose Hotel Kalimpong Canary as his place of residence. But, he was not going to budge; unless Sumona or someone else, from within the hotel helped him gain access to the tea gardens. Displeased by the service, he put up an angry scene. The other hotel staff along with Sumona tried to calm him down. But Divang wasn’t yet revealing the reason behind his anger and stubbornness. Finding it too difficult to handle Divang and his demands, Sumona, the receptionist, requested her manager to intervene. Before he could leave the desk, he dialled at the residence of the hotel owners.

 

Part 2

Divang had by now decided to almost get physical. The hotel security had to jump into action to clamp him down. Just then, the main door opened and the owners of the hotel walked in. They gestured the hotel security to set Divang free.

One of the two owners started speaking to Divang.

‘Let us not create a scene here. Other guests checking in might find this to be strange. Let’s go to your room Mr. Divang and have a conversation in private. There might be some confusion. We would be happy to clarify it for you.’

The owners then gestured the hotel staff to go back to their work and walked with Divang towards his room. Sumona took a deep breath. After closing the door behind them, both the owners pounced on Divang. They pulled out their guns and pointed it straight at Divang. Both the owners spoke; almost one after the other.

‘Tea gardens is what you remember Divang. Don’t you remember anything else? Oh yes, you do remember the nearby village as well. You still have a great memory. A memory, we and the bosses hated you for. But why return after so many years? Are you still seeking something? Have you forgotten the pact, we had made? It was a simple deal. Kill the old man and his young wife; bury them in the tea gardens and seal the access to the nearby village. Just to make sure that the servants who stayed there, never found out about their owners being dead and buried there. How can your memory fail you Divang? Wasn’t this our plan, when we had decided to abandon the badlands of crime?’

Releasing himself from their grip, Divang stood up. He put his hand beneath a chair and pulled out his gun. He then answered in a frustrated voice.

‘Memory hasn’t failed me. The pact is still on. As planned, you both were supposed to change your names and take the control of this home. We had made this plan long back. Everything was going smooth. Following your instructions, I was taking care of the commercial front and managing the cover up to let this place function like a hotel. Until, one day, I received a mysterious call. I had never heard this voice. But someone from the other side knew about the killings, the takeover and the transformation of an ancestral property into a hotel. And the same person informed, we are not supposed to roam freely. Revenge is long awaited.’

Confused over Divang’s revelation, all of them stood still. Divang spoke again.

‘The person who had called, informed me that he is very much inside the hotel and can kill us any time. This is the reason, I chose to travel incognito and created a scene to bring out that mole who has almost made up his mind to spoil our plan. It seems, he is far more intelligent than our pact.’

Before the other two owners can respond, there was a knock on the door. Divang and the other two men hid their guns. Walking towards the door, Divang enquired.

‘Who is it? If it’s not too urgent, you can bother us later.’

Sumona was standing on the other side of the door. She replied.

‘Sir. This is Sumona, the receptionist. Actually the owners are needed downstairs. It seems someone had called up the police when the commotion had taken place at the reception zone. I would request you to please let them go. Or the police would simply start investigating other customers.’

Divang opened the door. Sumona walked in. She apologized to the owners for having disturbed their conversation and asked them to follow her. As they started moving, Sumona pulled out a kitchen knife from her coat and lodged it in the chest of one of the owners. Before the other could jump into action; she caught hold of his wrist and slit it. Bleeding and gasping for breath, both fell down on the ground. Divang jumped for his gun. Sumona had by now taken control of one of the guns lying unattended on the ground. It belonged to the one of the slain owners who were now gasping for breath. Before Divang could pull the trigger, Sumona shot two bullets; one by one they hit his knees. He too fell on the ground and screamed.

‘Who the hell are you? You killed them. You bitch. You killed my partners. I won’t leave you now.’

Before Divang could point his gun at her, Sumona jumped closer to him and pushed the nozzle of her gun straight into his mouth. She kicked the gun off Divang’s hand. She partly pulled the trigger and spoke with anger in her voice.

‘It was a good plan. But didn’t you know that the badlands play by their own rules Divang? No matter how well planned the pact between you three was. But how can you betray your mentors, your bosses from the badlands! They kept their eyes on you three and of course they traced every movement. All these years, when you three thought of being free from the controls of badlands, they hired me from the same village, where the servants of this home lived. They trained me to kill. And, I was just waiting for this moment to hit at you three. Because when you killed the owners and buried them in the teagardens, you also killed the livelihoods of those servants who could never return back to their workplace. My father was one of them. So when your other friends from the badlands decided to finish you off, they came looking for those, who could help them execute their plan against you. I volunteered. And here we are Mr Divang. Time to say some tough goodbyes. Isn’t it?”

Sumona pulled the trigger. Divang died instantly. The police waiting at the reception had heard the gunshots. They wasted no time to run towards the room; only to find three dead bodies lying in a pool of blood. Before the police arrived at the scene of the crime, Sumona had jumped out of the window and landed straight in the teagardens. It was her time to go home. The job was well executed. Even though she never knew where the owners of the home were buried, she left the teagardens after saying a little prayer for them.

On reaching the nearby village, she knocked on the door of her home. Her mother opened it slowly. She saw a man seated inside. The moment she entered, the man shot her; straight in her head. He killed her mother too. Standing near their dead bodies, he remarked.

‘The badlands play by their own rules Sumona.’

‘We welcome you to Hotel Kalimpong Canary.’

The receptionist smiled at Divang. After he had filled in the form, which confirmed his booking with the hotel, he walked in. But before he could make his way to his room, he turned towards the receptionist and inquired.

‘Does this hotel serve the same sweet wine, which is supposed to originate from Canary Islands of north western Africa? I’ve heard one can rarely spot a bottle for they are not to be caught in local markets. Is it because of the slight premium in price or the extra shipping logistics. I can pay the premium because I find the flavors unique. Is it possible for you to smuggle in a bottle for me? By any chance!’

Quite impressed by Divang’s knowledge, the receptionist smiled. As a kind gesture, she replied, ‘I must say Mr Divang, you are a keen observant. This hotel does take its name from the wine and of course the décor is slightly based on the sightings of Canary Islands. But we don’t have access to that specific variety of wine. Although, we’ve an impressive range of other wines. We would love to serve you the same.’

Before making his next move, Divang walked a few steps closer to the receptionist. He looked at the badge, which displayed her name. It read, Sumona. Walking a few steps back to the place he heard the receptionist from, Divang spoke.

‘I am surprised. Before this place could be called a hotel, it used to be a home. And, if you’ve sought inspiration from the aesthetics of international islands and brought it up here to these hills, why miss out on the details, which could have rightly fit the bill?’

The receptionist returned Divang’s query with a sweet smile but didn’t reply.

Having taken rest over the night’s time, Divang returned to the reception area. There he saw Sumona caught in an intense conversation over the phone. On seeing Divang, she put down the phone and greeted Divang.

‘Good morning Sir. I hope, you relaxed well. Isn’t it a pleasant morning to begin with a sightseeing trip today?’

Divang smiled at her and replied.

‘Yes of course. It is a pleasant morning. But I’m not in a mood to go on a sightseeing trip. Tell me something. If I am not mistaken, this home… I’m sorry… this hotel is hiding behind it a stretch of tea gardens, which was once easily accessible to the locals to walk through. The tea gardens served as a shortcut to a nearby village. Why can’t I see that access road any more Sumona?’

The receptionist was stunned to learn about Divang’s knowledge about the property and its surroundings. Going by the details served by Divang, she found it hard to believe that he was a mere tourist. This man, according to her, knew every little detail about the place. Before she could pause her thoughts and reply, Divang interrupted.

‘Sumona. Take me to the place which still facilitates an access to the teagardens.’
A little petrified, the receptionist spoke up in a trembled voice.

’Sir. I am not aware of any such access road. Yes, there does exists, a stretch of teagardens in the backyard; but none of us have either visited it or thought of enquiring about it. So, please forgive my audacity to stop you from being stubborn and demand anything, we are not equipped to help you with.’

Divang wouldn’t take her refusal for a reply. Before he checked in, he had purposely not revealed his purpose of visit or his intention to specifically choose Hotel Kalimpong Canary as his place of residence. But, he was not going to budge; unless Sumona or someone else, from within the hotel helped him gain access to the tea gardens. Displeased by the service, he put up an angry scene. The other hotel staff along with Sumona tried to calm him down. But Divang wasn’t yet revealing the reason behind his anger and stubbornness. Finding it too difficult to handle Divang and his demands, Sumona, the receptionist, requested her manager to intervene. Before he could leave the desk, he dialled at the residence of the hotel owners.

To Be Continued in Part 2…

Divang had by now decided to almost get physical. The hotel security had to jump into action to clamp him down. Just then, the main door opened and the owners of the hotel walked in. They gestured the hotel security to set Divang free.

One of the two owners started speaking to Divang.

‘Let us not create a scene here. Other guests checking in might find this to be strange. Let’s go to your room Mr. Divang and have a conversation in private. There might be some confusion. We would be happy to clarify it for you.’

The owners then gestured the hotel staff to go back to their work and walked with Divang towards his room. Sumona took a deep breath. After closing the door behind them, both the owners pounced on Divang. They pulled out their guns and pointed it straight at Divang. Both the owners spoke; almost one after the other.

‘Tea gardens is what you remember Divang. Don’t you remember anything else? Oh yes, you do remember the nearby village as well. You still have a great memory. A memory, we and the bosses hated you for. But why return after so many years? Are you still seeking something? Have you forgotten the pact, we had made? It was a simple deal. Kill the old man and his young wife; bury them in the tea gardens and seal the access to the nearby village. Just to make sure that the servants who stayed there, never found out about their owners being dead and buried there. How can your memory fail you Divang? Wasn’t this our plan, when we had decided to abandon the badlands of crime?’

Releasing himself from their grip, Divang stood up. He put his hand beneath a chair and pulled out his gun. He then answered in a frustrated voice.

‘Memory hasn’t failed me. The pact is still on. As planned, you both were supposed to change your names and take the control of this home. We had made this plan long back. Everything was going smooth. Following your instructions, I was taking care of the commercial front and managing the cover up to let this place function like a hotel. Until, one day, I received a mysterious call. I had never heard this voice. But someone from the other side knew about the killings, the takeover and the transformation of an ancestral property into a hotel. And the same person informed, we are not supposed to roam freely. Revenge is long awaited.’

Confused over Divang’s revelation, all of them stood still. Divang spoke again.

‘The person who had called, informed me that he is very much inside the hotel and can kill us any time. This is the reason, I chose to travel incognito and created a scene to bring out that mole who has almost made up his mind to spoil our plan. It seems, he is far more intelligent than our pact.’

Before the other two owners can respond, there was a knock on the door. Divang and the other two men hid their guns. Walking towards the door, Divang enquired.

‘Who is it? If it’s not too urgent, you can bother us later.’

Sumona was standing on the other side of the door. She replied.

‘Sir. This is Sumona, the receptionist. Actually the owners are needed downstairs. It seems someone had called up the police when the commotion had taken place at the reception zone. I would request you to please let them go. Or the police would simply start investigating other customers.’

Divang opened the door. Sumona walked in. She apologized to the owners for having disturbed their conversation and asked them to follow her. As they started moving, Sumona pulled out a kitchen knife from her coat and lodged it in the chest of one of the owners. Before the other could jump into action; she caught hold of his wrist and slit it. Bleeding and gasping for breath, both fell down on the ground. Divang jumped for his gun. Sumona had by now taken control of one of the guns lying unattended on the ground. It belonged to the one of the slain owners who were now gasping for breath. Before Divang could pull the trigger, Sumona shot two bullets; one by one they hit his knees. He too fell on the ground and screamed.

‘Who the hell are you? You killed them. You bitch. You killed my partners. I won’t leave you now.’

Before Divang could point his gun at her, Sumona jumped closer to him and pushed the nozzle of her gun straight into his mouth. She kicked the gun off Divang’s hand. She partly pulled the trigger and spoke with anger in her voice.

‘It was a good plan. But didn’t you know that the badlands play by their own rules Divang? No matter how well planned the pact between you three was. But how can you betray your mentors, your bosses from the badlands! They kept their eyes on you three and of course they traced every movement. All these years, when you three thought of being free from the controls of badlands, they hired me from the same village, where the servants of this home lived. They trained me to kill. And, I was just waiting for this moment to hit at you three. Because when you killed the owners and buried them in the teagardens, you also killed the livelihoods of those servants who could never return back to their workplace. My father was one of them. So when your other friends from the badlands decided to finish you off, they came looking for those, who could help them execute their plan against you. I volunteered. And here we are Mr Divang. Time to say some tough goodbyes. Isn’t it?”

Sumona pulled the trigger. Divang died instantly. The police waiting at the reception had heard the gunshots. They wasted no time to run towards the room; only to find three dead bodies lying in a pool of blood. Before the police arrived at the scene of the crime, Sumona had jumped out of the window and landed straight in the teagardens. It was her time to go home. The job was well executed. Even though she never knew where the owners of the home were buried, she left the teagardens after saying a little prayer for them.

On reaching the nearby village, she knocked on the door of her home. Her mother opened it slowly. She saw a man seated inside. The moment she entered, the man shot her; straight in her head. He killed her mother too. Standing near their dead bodies, he remarked.

‘The badlands play by their own rules Sumona.’

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