Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Two follows One.

A very disturbed Friday evening. The clock ticks to 7pm. Winds blowing at the speed of 170 miles an hour. A ‘most wanted’ serial killer Baldev Singh who has spent almost 2 years in the Central Jail in Bangalore has just broken loose. The city is flooding and there’s havoc on the roads and almost every household. The women are waiting for their husbands and kids to return home as soon as possible. A lot of activity on the streets with the police evacuation team rescuing people from within their cars. Shops shutting down and shopping malls announcing the possibility of a hurricane approaching Bangalore following the news on NDTV. Every person wants to reach home to get to their near and dear ones.

Medha has just managed to reach home in time for her husband who should be reaching home any minute. She leaves her bag on the sofa and walks up into her bedroom. She changes into her nightgown and gets ready to cook some pasta for her Amol. Just as she picks out a packet of pasta, the drops it, startled, as her cell phone in her pocket vibrates. ‘Amol calling…’ it reads. She heaves a sigh of relief and answers the phone. Amol tells her that he’d be a little late as the radio in the car has announced the possibility of a strong hurricane. He asks her to switch on the TV at home and tune into NDTV for more details and his voice cracks up as he disconnects the call due to a lot of interference in the network. She rushes into the living room and switches the TV on. All she can see is how badly the roads are flooded and the rescue operations on in full swing. She gets really paranoid and tries calling Amol. The call does not go through and she gets even more scared as she reads what else is happening in town. A scrolling marquee on TV reads, “Singh breaks out. Crowds beware!”

Amol, at the same time hears about this on the radio channel he’s tuned into for more updates on the about-to-approach hurricane. He’s driven not more than 4 kilometers ahead when suddenly a man walks right into the middle of the road and tries stopping his car. He suddenly does not know whether to stop or not and ends up braking the car right at his face. He gets confused for a second. He knocks heavily on the car window and Amol hesitates. He slides down the automatic window to allow the rain to enter. The man signals to him for a lift as he points towards a car that seems to have just broken down due to the heavy rains. Being the good person Amol was, he allows him into the front seat of the car without giving it a second thought. Co-incidentally the man wanted to go just about 2 blocks before where Amol stayed. The radio is still talking about Singh who is on the loose. And, they were announcing what he looked like. The stranger asks Amol to switch the radio off as they drove home because he believed that it was more important to drive carefully rather than listen to all the other nonsense they talked about on the radio. Amol disagreed and returned to listening to the description of Singh. Scarily, the stranger resembled Singh who the radio was describing. Amol gets very scared and freaks out. He does not know what to do. The stranger bends forward and switches the radio off.

There’s a loud knock on the door at home. Medha runs to the door hoping it is Amol, but sadly it isn’t. There’s a tall man who is drenched from head to toe. He looked like he’d been stranded for quite some time now. He asks for some shelter as he had nowhere to go. She lets him in and asks him to take a seat while she went and made some hot cocoa for him. He takes a seat and watches the news that was still on. The warning about Singh flashes in big bold letters. She gets him his hot cocoa and sits with him to watch the news. She gets really restless as it’s a scary night with heavy rain pouring, an approaching hurricane, a serial killer on the loose and no news of her husband for whom she’s been waiting for an hour now.

Amol is still scared, and still driving. For him, the drive does not seem to end as much as he wants it to, as he is with someone who he does not know and who resembles Singh, the killer. The guy talks to him very roughly and asks him to drive faster and faster, but Amol refuses to as he does not have enough vision ahead of him to drive as fast as the stranger wanted him to. Besides, he looked really scary. 6 foot 2 inches tall, broad build, dense beard and a crew cut. Amol tries calling Medha but is unable to as the cellular network has jammed. He starts getting frustrated and upset, driving. The stranger asks him to pull up next to an old house that they can see. Weirdly, he thanks him profusely and gets off inviting him for a cup of coffee. Amol thanks him and tells him that he has his wife waiting for him at home. The stranger finally bids adieu introducing himself. “My name’s Singh. Baldev Singh. It was a pleasure meeting you.” Amol freezes for a whole minute, in disbelief. His world freezes with him. But, before he could react to anything, Amol drives off not believing how he had just dropped off a serial killer to a certain someone’s house.

He finally reaches home. It’s about 9.30pm. He realizes that it was extremely late and rushes in to find his door lock jammed. He knocks loudly. No one answers. He breaks the lock open as he calls out to Medha. All he can hear is the TV. He searches for her frantically. He fails to find her. He rushes to living room. All he can see is two bodies on the floor with a lot of wounds on both the bodies and a cup that is lying in a pool of a mix of blood and hot cocoa with a Swiss Army knife beside it. He could hear her body still breathing its last words while the other one just lay there lifeless, dead. He tried hard to understand the mutter, but unfortunately understood nothing. He falls to the floor, not knowing what to do. He stares in disbelief. He loses all his senses and pulls out the stranger’s wallet from the back pocket of his jeans. He searches for his identity proof only to find his ID card. Amol reads his name and loses consciousness then and there.
It read ‘Baldev Singh’.


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