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About Arun Coimbatore

Arun is a screenwriter from Tamil Nadu. He has written for a few short films and telefilms and contributed to a movie called Veruli that released few months back.

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Introduction

Saran was just starting to understand the real meaning of the word ‘orphan.’ His widow mother had passed away recently. It took just three months from the diagnosis of her breast cancer until her death. Saran was in his mid twenties, working in an MNC, and inherited a small tea estate. Like most children growing up without father, his whole world had revolved around his mother. After his mother’s sudden demise, he felt depressed and disconnected from everything. He spent half the nights walking the highway under the mercury lamps. He ate at different places, slept little, and spent most of the time on internet. It was then that he happened to meet one ‘Vidhya Robert’ on Facebook. She was a post-graduation student. They began with harmless chatting, one thing led to another, and soon they met up and fell in love. He volunteered to pay her college fees. Though subconsciously he felt like things were going faster and fanciful, he convinced himself by labelling it divine intervention.

PART I

Meenakshi was a single child to her parents. Her father was an influential Suitcase Man of the ruling party. She was the “born with a silver spoon” and lived a life that anyone would envy. When she failed the preliminary exams of the Civil Services for the third time, her father had to pull only a few strings to make her a Sub Inspector of Police. When she complained to her father of the dust and heat affecting her skin tone, she was soon made the Inspector of Cyber Cell and perched inside an air-conditioned office. Social media dubbed her as the cutest officer in Police Department.

Cyber Cell was fun work. The first major case she was involved in was the “Vidhya Robert Murder Case,” as the media quoted it. The CCTV footage of a young girl being hacked to death by a helmeted man in broad daylight went viral and became the headline for the next 48 hours. The prime suspect in the FIR happened to be a management consultant called Saran. He was taken into custody. Media speculated Saran to be a psychopath with haunting music along with his picture.

Preliminary police enquiry revealed Vidhya Robert to be a fraudster. Her modus operandi was to rent a room, get in contact with gullible men through Facebook and milk money with the promise of love, marriage, or sexual favors. Once things reach a breaking point, she would vacate the room, close the Facebook account, and discard the sim card.

Meenakshi went through Vidhya’s chat records and laughed at how naive Saran was. Saran had transferred 5,00,000 rupees to Vidhya’s account within 60 days of meeting her. Meenakshi was required to go through 3 years of chat records and emails of Saran in front of her. It was apparent from the digital records that Saran was not the culprit. He was seriously in love with a Facebook illusion. The more she read Saran’s data, her ridicule turned into intrigue and pity. She spent the night literally reading his mind in the form of computer data.

She could see he was a very sensitive man, couldn’t hurt an ant. He was a district topper in school. He was a genial man unlike the devil the media had invented him to be. Meenakshi could see who the real victim here was. At around 3 a.m., she was moved to tears when she read the mail he had sent to his friend from the waiting room of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, while his mother was undergoing the last phase of chemotherapy.

The next morning was a watershed moment in Meenakshi’s life, a moment not possible even in her weirdest dream. When she saw Saran for the first time, silently sitting on the floor of the lockup room and staring at the wall, she fell in love with him.

The cop fell in love with the suspect!

PART III

Saran wondered how he had gotten used to the unspeakable stench in the lockup in three days. Once a day he was let out to use the toilet and wash himself. He had to remain starved until noon when he was given a parcel of cooked rice each day, but very little curry. He learned from another inmate to save the dry red chilly from the curry and bite into it to eat the remaining rice without curry. His lawyer and office mates visited him daily. Even through the entire ordeal, he felt sorry for Vidhya. He contemplated on the little things that might lead to the perpetrator. The fourth day, he let a huge sigh of relief when he was moved to a much cleaner and well-lit room with a table and chair. At noon, a smiling woman constable brought him a tiffin-box with home-cooked food along with his favorite Seer Fish fry. He was given coffee in a paper cup in the evening and masala dosas for dinner, both brought from his favorite restaurant. He could feel a sudden turnaround of things for the better each moment.

Next morning, he learned from his lawyer that his name was cleared from the charge-sheet and then he was let go. It was puzzling when no one knew who had arranged for the food the previous day. His employer assured him all support and even granted him a month’s leave. He packed his things and moved in with his friend to dodge the media. American TV series and his friend’s Labrador helped him get over things faster. Vidhya Robert’s killer surrendered himself to the police, an old classmate of her’s, one of her earlier victims.

Just after a few days, Saran received a phone call from a woman cop to come meet her for some clarifications. His surprised lawyer repeatedly confirmed with Saran the meeting place – a coffee shop. The woman cop introduced herself as Meenakshi. She was wearing a pullover, jeans and sneakers. It was just a bunch of polite enquiries, never paying much heed to the lawyer. She was very friendly to Saran and paid for the coffee herself. Before leaving, she did hint about more meetings in the subsequent days.

The next day, she called him up to a spot near the beach. He went without his lawyer this time. The conversation turned into a walk along the beach. This time she mostly spoke about her background, family, and life so far. They walked for about 40 minutes. She was voluble and candid, at times bossy. He liked talking to her. She stopped only when it started to drizzle. The next subsequent days, she would text him friendly things and he would reply back. One afternoon, he was lunching when he received a text from her asking him to join for a movie. His heart skipped a beat. He had just been taken for the ride of his life by another pretty woman not so long ago. He declined it. She kept sneaking in the same question over the next few days and he kept declining politely until one day when boredom got the better of him and they went to a movie and dinner.

They started hanging out every day. She took him to movies, shopping, dinner. He realized that of late the first thing that came to his mind as he woke up from sleep was her. Even though he was ‘once bitten, twice shy,’ he loved this newfound source of happiness that was getting closer and bigger by the day. Saran and Meenakshi were on a stroll that evening when for the first time he felt confident to touch her, putting his arm around her. She acted as if she did not notice it. They had a long walk that evening, marking a new beginning in his life.

Saran was just starting to understand the real meaning of the word ‘orphan.’ His widow mother had passed away recently. It took just three months from the diagnosis of her breast cancer until her death. Saran was in his mid twenties, working in an MNC, and inherited a small tea estate. Like most children growing up without father, his whole world had revolved around his mother. After his mother’s sudden demise, he felt depressed and disconnected from everything. He spent half the nights walking the highway under the mercury lamps. He ate at different places, slept little, and spent most of the time on internet. It was then that he happened to meet one ‘Vidhya Robert’ on Facebook. She was a post-graduation student. They began with harmless chatting, one thing led to another, and soon they met up and fell in love. He volunteered to pay her college fees. Though subconsciously he felt like things were going faster and fanciful, he convinced himself by labelling it divine intervention.

Meenakshi was a single child to her parents. Her father was an influential Suitcase Man of the ruling party. She was the “born with a silver spoon” and lived a life that anyone would envy. When she failed the preliminary exams of the Civil Services for the third time, her father had to pull only a few strings to make her a Sub Inspector of Police. When she complained to her father of the dust and heat affecting her skin tone, she was soon made the Inspector of Cyber Cell and perched inside an air-conditioned office. Social media dubbed her as the cutest officer in Police Department.

Cyber Cell was fun work. The first major case she was involved in was the “Vidhya Robert Murder Case,” as the media quoted it. The CCTV footage of a young girl being hacked to death by a helmeted man in broad daylight went viral and became the headline for the next 48 hours. The prime suspect in the FIR happened to be a management consultant called Saran. He was taken into custody. Media speculated Saran to be a psychopath with haunting music along with his picture.

Preliminary police enquiry revealed Vidhya Robert to be a fraudster. Her modus operandi was to rent a room, get in contact with gullible men through Facebook and milk money with the promise of love, marriage, or sexual favors. Once things reach a breaking point, she would vacate the room, close the Facebook account, and discard the sim card.

Meenakshi went through Vidhya’s chat records and laughed at how naive Saran was. Saran had transferred 5,00,000 rupees to Vidhya’s account within 60 days of meeting her. Meenakshi was required to go through 3 years of chat records and emails of Saran in front of her. It was apparent from the digital records that Saran was not the culprit. He was seriously in love with a Facebook illusion. The more she read Saran’s data, her ridicule turned into intrigue and pity. She spent the night literally reading his mind in the form of computer data.

She could see he was a very sensitive man, couldn’t hurt an ant. He was a district topper in school. He was a genial man unlike the devil the media had invented him to be. Meenakshi could see who the real victim here was. At around 3 a.m., she was moved to tears when she read the mail he had sent to his friend from the waiting room of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, while his mother was undergoing the last phase of chemotherapy.

The next morning was a watershed moment in Meenakshi’s life, a moment not possible even in her weirdest dream. When she saw Saran for the first time, silently sitting on the floor of the lockup room and staring at the wall, she fell in love with him.

The cop fell in love with the suspect!

To Be Continued in Part II…

Saran wondered how he had gotten used to the unspeakable stench in the lockup in three days. Once a day he was let out to use the toilet and wash himself. He had to remain starved until noon when he was given a parcel of cooked rice each day, but very little curry. He learned from another inmate to save the dry red chilly from the curry and bite into it to eat the remaining rice without curry. His lawyer and office mates visited him daily. Even through the entire ordeal, he felt sorry for Vidhya. He contemplated on the little things that might lead to the perpetrator. The fourth day, he let a huge sigh of relief when he was moved to a much cleaner and well-lit room with a table and chair. At noon, a smiling woman constable brought him a tiffin-box with home-cooked food along with his favorite Seer Fish fry. He was given coffee in a paper cup in the evening and masala dosas for dinner, both brought from his favorite restaurant. He could feel a sudden turnaround of things for the better each moment.

Next morning, he learned from his lawyer that his name was cleared from the charge-sheet and then he was let go. It was puzzling when no one knew who had arranged for the food the previous day. His employer assured him all support and even granted him a month’s leave. He packed his things and moved in with his friend to dodge the media. American TV series and his friend’s Labrador helped him get over things faster. Vidhya Robert’s killer surrendered himself to the police, an old classmate of her’s, one of her earlier victims.

Just after a few days, Saran received a phone call from a woman cop to come meet her for some clarifications. His surprised lawyer repeatedly confirmed with Saran the meeting place – a coffee shop. The woman cop introduced herself as Meenakshi. She was wearing a pullover, jeans and sneakers. It was just a bunch of polite enquiries, never paying much heed to the lawyer. She was very friendly to Saran and paid for the coffee herself. Before leaving, she did hint about more meetings in the subsequent days.

The next day, she called him up to a spot near the beach. He went without his lawyer this time. The conversation turned into a walk along the beach. This time she mostly spoke about her background, family, and life so far. They walked for about 40 minutes. She was voluble and candid, at times bossy. He liked talking to her. She stopped only when it started to drizzle. The next subsequent days, she would text him friendly things and he would reply back. One afternoon, he was lunching when he received a text from her asking him to join for a movie. His heart skipped a beat. He had just been taken for the ride of his life by another pretty woman not so long ago. He declined it. She kept sneaking in the same question over the next few days and he kept declining politely until one day when boredom got the better of him and they went to a movie and dinner.

They started hanging out every day. She took him to movies, shopping, dinner. He realized that of late the first thing that came to his mind as he woke up from sleep was her. Even though he was ‘once bitten, twice shy,’ he loved this newfound source of happiness that was getting closer and bigger by the day. Saran and Meenakshi were on a stroll that evening when for the first time he felt confident to touch her, putting his arm around her. She acted as if she did not notice it. They had a long walk that evening, marking a new beginning in his life.

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2 Response Comments

  • Aparna Mondal04/03/2019 at 4:16 PM

    Loved the writing . Very interesting !, waiting for the second part !

  • Bishakham04/03/2019 at 7:31 PM

    Nice story. First part and introduction was quite intriguing. The second part was like as if just wrapped the story in a hurry. Was expecting some twists and thrill. Got none of that. Disappointed.

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