Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Shock and betrayal...

Kaya was so shocked to hear that voice, and specially its cold tone, that she almost missed the words that were said. Do not be hasty, how can the fire chief confirm Kaya’s death? Her death? Kailash Pradhan wanted a confirmation of her death? What was going on?
“Arre Kailash babu, they have found a body on the top floor. On that floor, only one room was occupied. And that was Kaya’s. So the body has to be hers. And it’s a female body, that much they have confimed.”, said an oily voice that again seemed familiar to Kaya.
“Aur nahi to kya? Now what more do you want, a DNA test?” , this voice was immediately recognizable. It belonged to Nalini- Nalini Kumar. And that meant the oily voice had to be her husband. Paras.
What were the Kumars doing here? And talking with Kailash Pradhan, Kaya distinctly remembered the looks on the faces of the Kumars when they saw Kailash Pradhan in Veena. And his own face had shown no pleasantness at their site. And now they were sitting her in this place, discussing her death, like partners in crime. The fact that they were indeed partners in crime was revealed to Kaya by the next words spoken by the lawyer.
“You people make unnecessary haste. What was the need for you Paras an Nalini to come to Veena. Especially since I told you not to? The fact that you are the last living relatives of Kaya would’ve escaped everyone’s mind till the trust was actually transferred to you. Why couldn’t you people remain quiet? And did you have to wail and make that show of grief in front of Kaya?”
The cold tone was gone. He now seemed agitated and the was nearly shouting.
“Kailash bhaiya, any bhala to sab bhala!”, it was the voice that had earlier spoken about the fire chief confirming Kaya’s death “And with a brilliant scheming mind like yours, we’ve actually killed three birds with one stone. The girl gets out of our way; We get all her money and the land to build a new spa; and I get rid of my old hotel building. You are an absolute genius. Telling that girl that the accidents were probably murders, getting her out of the village, putting her on the top floor of my hotel, and then getting that good for nothing rogue Bhandari to create the fire from the diyas. Even if there is an enquiry, it will look like an accident. An absolute foolproof plan.”
This flattery had its effect and Kailsh Pradhan seemed to mellow down.
Kaya had heard enough and she didn’t need her intuition to tell her that she could not be seen by these people. She needed to get out of this place. She crept out of the room, and fighting the urge to run, walked out of the dharamshala as fast as her feet could carry her. And all this while, one question loomed in her mind. “Whose was the body that was found on the top floor?