Chapter 4: The Vanquished

Team: Writers' Den
Chapter 1: Mens Rea
Chapter 2: A Morning Star
Chapter 3: The Cursed One

Their marriage wasn't something out of the ordinary. Many thought it was for the better. Tara's ambition needed to be curbed and what better way than to give her up to the man everyone thought will do big in the future? However, a woman with resolve is the one to watch out for. Tara battled everything and then, some more. Shekhar's dream of becoming an author didn't quite materialise and he had to let his wife become the man of the house. It wasn't something he was very proud about. Yet, he couldn't do anything about it. Back at their ancestral village, everyone was told something else.
 

This lie ate through him day in and out as he silently wrote away articles as a freelance writer, his money never bringing enough. The cold December night of Delhi still couldn't soothe the burning rage within him. The window stayed open as he rained his words on the keyboard. To the outside world, he was always smiling, sort of like a defeated man. He stayed home, cooked for his wife, who worked harder to make the ends meet. Their daughter, Roohi, needed attention. Finance was the least of it all, but they had nothing else to do but try and pass the days somehow. He missed Sophia more but he was a man defeated in a game with the odds stacked against him and he had no one, not even his wife. 

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Cyrus never believed in fate. His family made him think otherwise. Seeing his dad's clients being freed, some of them with questionable backgrounds made him detest the truth, for the truth could be bought, either with money or with threats. His internship had just begun. Excited, he gave his job everything he could and he had the support of his family. Days burned into nights and nights lost their meaning. He hated the fact that his family's reputation preceded him. He hated walking on someone else's path. He knew about the sneering faces behind him, those who knew about his connections. Yet, he wanted to prove something else.

The little girl's murder was something that he thought needed attention. The file laid on the desk, among the hundreds their office received in a month. That little girl, she could have been someone, done something great with her life. Yet, photographs of her lifeless body filled the folder along with shabby police handwriting. Unhibited, he took up the case. His father, always the practical one, didn't want his son to get into the supposed "imbroglio" too soon.

"But dad?"
"No. Our family has always taken up cases that have only helped our reputation. Look at Phupha-ji. He has made a reputation not by taking up obscure cases, but ones that have given us a roof, a name that makes other lawyers in the fraternity stand up when we walk through the corridor. This case, this pathetic case of a girl.."
"..Sophia"
"Whatever, being killed under whatever circumstances doesn't help our name in anyway. I suggest you understand that more than the fact that you are an aspiring lawyer, you are our future. If you fail, this case would make us the laughing stock. If you pass, we don't gain anything.."
"..you mean, money."
"ENOUGH! You hold that tongue of yours before I have you thrown out!"
"OK dad"
"It's Mr. Daruwala. This is an office, not your living room."
"Sorry, Sir."
"I am busy here. Is there anything else that you need my attention on?"
"No", said Cyrus, wiping the sweat off his forehead already adorned with lines that accentuated his stern face.
"I just have one thing to say", uttered Cyrus.
"I am here to tell you one thing and that one thing only - I am taking this case up."
"So be it. But know this - You shall be disowned if you lose this case." 
"If not already." With a wry smile on his face, Cyrus walked off, the folder neatly tucked under his arms.

Soon, he shall have his due moment. Years of hard work and the love for it would bring him to the first monster of his life - himself. Would he be the vanquisher or the vanquished? Only time had the answer. 

And then his phone rang. "JJ", it said. A smile broke on his face. 

Chapter 5: The Insurmountable

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11 comments:

  1. This is some brilliant writing, Aurindam. Liked the way you have taken the story ahead!! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Shilpa! Let's have a great one!

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  2. Sounds like a monster Dad.. And the story proceeds bit by bit. Awesome writing, lets continue the thriller.

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    1. Sounds like a lot of things including the monster dad.

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  3. Wonderfully written.. :) great story telling, Aurindam..

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    1. Thanks Rohini! This is such a wonderful feeling to be complimented by writers like you. :)

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  4. The puzzle pieces are falling in place... Loved your narrative style, Aurindam...

    Btw, my first comment vanished :O :O

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    1. Thanks once again, Rohini!

      It didn't vanish. It was up for moderation. :)

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks Jimmy! Do read the other chapters! :)

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  6. Superb narration, keeping the story as gripping as it's been so far!

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Aurindam Mukherjee