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HE - Episode 13

Discussion in 'HE - Serial Story' started by varalotti, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. varalotti

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    HE


    A Serial By Varalotti Rengasamy


    Episode 13


    Timeline B


    Sethu wanted to take revenge on Balki. Nalini was worried. Sethu explained his stand.

    “Sometimes we need to just tell the guy that this is not all right.

    “And we have to tell it in a language he will understand. Looks like he can’t understand any of the languages which we human being speak through our mouths.

    “You know, Ma’am, my hands speak a language which he will instantly understand.”

    Sharada did not know what to say.

    Nalini was still concerned.

    “Promise me Sethu you wont do anything silly.”

    “I promise on you, Ma’am, I wont do anything silly. And I further promise on your honour that I will teach a good lesson to that man, a lesson, he wont forget for the rest of his life.”

    Sethu walked out of the room. Balki’s bad times had started.
     
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    Part 2!

    Part 2!


    As soon as they were left alone Nalini took hold of Sharada’s hands. She did not say a word. There were tears in her eyes.

    “Sethu has already lost enough in his life. And that man is a cruel villain. I am really worried, Sharada. If anything happens to Sethu I won’t be able to bear it.”

    Sharada could feel the suffering of a mother. In spite of all the explanations she heard, the mother-son relationship between Nalini and Sethu was quite amazing.

    Of course, no real relationship could be brought within the confines of a logical explanation, she thought.

    She still remembered the ferocity with which Sethu prevented Nalini from seeking apology from Sharada and Mythili on the day they arrived in Le Meridian. And now she was seeing Nalini’s anxious concern for Sethu.

    “Your affection for Sethu has prevented you from seeing the reality. When Sethu talked about revenge, there was no anger in his voice. He was not at all emotional. He had as much emotion as one would have while planning the next move in a game of chess.”

    “Still, Sharada…. After knowing about Balki….”

    “Nalini, I know Balki inside out. He is a wounded tiger now. If Sethu does not do anything , Balki will hatch an even more cruel plan to finish off Sethu. This time it will be really difficult for Sethu to escape. So it is better that Sethu communicates some of his powers to his enemy.”

    Nalini’s grip tightened.

    “Sharada, tell me honestly, will your husband hurt Sethu again?”

    “Objection, Your Honour. He’s my ex-husband. But honestly, yes, he will plan something even more diabolic this time.”

    Nalini was just staring at Sharada not knowing what to do.

    “But don’t worry, Nalini. Balki has only violence and cunningness. Sethu has intelligence. Violence and cunningness are crude weapons of the olden days.

    “Intelligence is like the AK 47 and the inter-continental missiles of the modern times.

    “It can teach the enemies the lesson they so badly need to learn. So don’t worry about Sethu. Balki’s friends have to worry for his safety now.”
     
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    Part 3!

    Part 3!

    It was Nalini’s seventh day at the Appollo Hospitals. She wanted to go back to work. She felt restless lying in the hospital bed all the time.

    Late in the morning when Surgeon came to examine her she told him about her desire to get back to work.

    “Yes, you can, Mrs. Nalini. I am planning to remove your sutures tomorrow. I’ll discharge you tomorrow evening. Is that okay?”

    “Thanks, Doctor.”

    Nalini was wheeled into the Operation Theatre around seven in the morning the next day. The Doctor had told that the procedure would take thirty minutes at the maximum.
     
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    Part 4A!

    Part 4A!


    Sethu and Sharada were sitting in the waiting room adjoining the theatre. Sethu had been wanting to tell something to Sharada for the past three days. He could not get to meet her alone.

    He rehearsed what he was about to say for the hundredth time. He had been thinking about that for three days and the words had been perfectly formed.

    The trouble now lay in speaking them out.

    He cleared his throat and started to speak. But no word would come out. Sharada looked at him and then buried her face into the book she was reading.

    Sethu cleared his throat again this time with a greater noise to distract Sharada from her reading.

    “Looks like you want to say something to me. And you haven’t made up your mind, yet.”

    “Your first statement is right. Yes, I want to say something to you. The second is wrong. I have made up my mind. But my tongue does not co-operate with me. I am still looking for the perfect words.”

    “Any word you use to express your mind now, will hereafter become perfect. Well, if I go any further, I will be saying what you have been wanting to say.”

    The moment Sethu knew that Sharada knew what he was going to say, he was overwhelmed by shyness. With a gentle smile he turned his face away from Sharada.

    It was a sight to see such a muscular, well-built man like Sethu being shy. Sharada badly wanted to hold him in her hands.

    More than that she was eager to know what Sethu was going to say now.

    Sethu’s body language had eloquently communicated what he wanted to say. But Sharada wanted to hear his spoken language. She was looking at Sethu with all the love in the world.

    “Sharada….”

    “…mmm”

    “Sharada….”

    “..mmmm”

    “Sharada….about… what you said the other day….. at the health club…..”

    “Yes, about Herman Hesse… yes, tell me….”

    “Sharada, please……”

    Sharada moved closer to him and held his right hand in hers.

    “I am here, Sethu. Waiting to hear those magical words from you. What are you waiting for?”

    The moment Sharada gripped Sethu’s hands he lost his power of speech.

    ‘Anyday love is far more powerful than Varmakkalai’, Sethu mused.

    ‘In Varmakkalai when you want to make your enemy speechless you need to find out the precise point on the windpipe and then exert the exact amount of pressure. But while in love just your lover holding your hands will render you speechless.

    ‘In the first case the speechlessness is induced by pain while in the second it is the height of happiness.’

    “OK, OK, I understand. Now go ahead and speak.”

    Sharada tried to take her hands away. Sethu sensed that movement and with his other hand held her hands tightly in place.
     
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    Part 4B!

    Part 4B!


    Now it was Sharada’s turn to lapse into a state of speechless bliss. Her blushing was so obvious that Sethu could not help a smile. Now Sethu had gathered enough courage to speak out his mind.

    “I… I…… I…. .. love you… Sharada.”

    Sharada tightened her grip on his hands and whispered in his ears.

    “Thanks, Sethu. Thanks a lot. If you had refused my love, I would have lost all interest in living. You have given my life back to me, Sethu.

    “God took me through the path of suffering only to show that at the end of the path there was eternal happiness waiting for me. In your form.”

    “But Sharada, you have to know me. You have just seen me putting my best foot forward. I have a nasty past which you should know…”

    Sharada did not even let him finish the sentence. With her other hand she cupped his mouth. And spoke to him in the softest words.

    “No need Sethu. I don’t need to know your past to love you. And if telling that to me is going to relieve you of your burden you are most welcome. But for heavan’s sake I don’t need to know about your past for loving you.”

    Sethu was overwhelmed at the kind of confidence she had reposed in him.

    “There are a million practial problems in our getting married. It may take an eternity to solve them all. And I don’t want you to spend your life waiting for me.”

    “I know, Sethu. Marriage always has all these problems. But there is no practical problem for love. For me it is more than enough to know that you have accepted my love.

    We’ll try to solve all those problems. But even if we can’t, in my life time, still, I will die a happy woman knowing that I was loved by the best man in the whole world. I can wait for you forever, Sethu.”

    Sethu could not simply bear that kind of love. He gently lifted Sharada’s hand and entangled his fingers with hers.

    Time had come to a perfect stop. The need to express through spoken word had completely vanished. In that state of perfect timelessness they did not see the Surgeon walking towards them.

    The Surgeon realised their state only when he came near them. Then he walked back on his way without disturbing them.

    After fifteen minutes he came to the scene again. He cleared his throat noisily this time and brought back Sethu and Sharada from heavan.

    They saw him and suddenly moved apart.

    “It’s ok. She’s all right now. You can go and see her.”

    “Where’s she?”

    “In her room.”

    “Did she go by any other way?”

    “She went only by this way.”

    “But we didn’t see her.”

    “You could not have seen a live dinosaur if it had walked through this way.”

    The Surgeon was in his mid sixties with a big white mush. The mischievous smile on his lips added grace to his personality.

    “Don’t feel guilty. When I was your age, I was far worse. You two brought back pleasant memories of my past. Now go ahead and say hello to Nalini. She has been waiting for you.”

    As soon as the Surgeon left them alone, their eyes met once again.

    Their lives had remained an arid desert for a long time.



    This exchange of love was a miraculous rainfall that was going to convert the desert into a fertile land fit for the cultivation of happiness..


    They started walking towards Nalini’s room.
     
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    Part 5!

    Part 5!

    How are you, Ma’am? Are you feeling any pain?”

    “I am fine. Thanks. Sethu, will you mind coming a little closer to me?”

    Sethu was puzzled. Nevertheless he moved towards her bed.

    “I can’t reach you Sethu. You are so tall. Now be a good boy and bend down your head.”

    Sethu obeyed with a puzzled look.

    “Hello Dancer, what are you waiting for? Please come this side. Closer still. Yes. Now bend down, you naughty girl.”

    As soon as the two bent down, Nalini placed her hands on their heads.

    “May you be blessed with a happy, hassle-free married life. May you both live long and may your love grow.”

    Sharada was surprised.

    “Nalini, what is this? How did you know?”

    “Chi… naughty girl.The whole hospital knows. I won’t be surprised if it appears in the afternoon news on the Satellite Television.”

    Sethu was concentrating on a speck of dust on the tiled floor. Sharada blushed.

    “Hello, little girl, don’t think you will be spared the problem of in-laws. Mind you I will be the meanest mother-in-law the world has ever known.”

    “Nalini.”

    Sharada flew into Nalini’s open arms and was sobbing continuously.

    “Nalini, I have never been this happy in my whole life. Even if I die at this very moment, I would have lived a full life.”

    “Don’t be a fool, Sharada. You are going to live till 100.”

    Sethu was looking at the two women with tear laden eyes.
     
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    Part 6!

    Part 6!


    Later in the evening Nalini was discharged from the hospital. When she reached Le Meridian it was almost 11 in the night.

    When the uniformed security guard opened the door of her car and saluted her, Nalini could see the softness and affection in his eyes.

    While remaining in attention, he enquired about her health. Nalini answered him and slowly walked into the lobby.

    At Le Meridien only thirty percent of the total staff work in the night shift. The rest worked in general shifts, all of which ended before 7 PM. Nalini thought she could go to her room almost unnoticed. She was wrong.

    The entire staff of the hotel including the Managers were standing in a formation to welcome her. They started singing a welcome song to their loving boss. Nalini stood frozen in her place.

    Then each of them came to her, shook her hands and enquired about her health. It was 1 AM in the morning when she retired.
     
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    Part 7!

    Part 7!



    Madam, Susan said you wanted to see me.”

    “Yes, Sethu. I see that you have applied for four days leave. Reason: to go to my native village.”

    “Yes, Ma’am.”

    “When are you going, Sethu? Tonight?”

    Sethu made sure that Susan was not there in the room.

    “I am not going anywhere, Ma’am.”

    “Then….”

    Sethu’s smile was large and affectionate.

    “Ma’am, we all know the real reason. But I can’t put that in black and white.”

    “Sethu, I am still worried. I even have a half-mind to use my authority to reject your leave application.”

    “Ma’am, please don’t do that. Please consider this as an act of self-defence. Offence is many times the best defence. I promise you that I won’t hurt myself.”

    “But Sethu, the risk….”

    “The risk is there every where, Ma’am. I will put it this way. I will be running a greater risk by walking along a busy road than in this mission.”

    “Whatever you say, I am still worried. I am praying God that you should come out of all of these unharmed. Now you have one more person living for you. Sharada.

    “I have never stopped praying to God on your account. I am going to forego my night dinner for all the four days to show my earnestness to God. And when you come back, we three will have a huge party.”

    “Thanks, Ma’am. I’ll be very careful.”

    “Leave sanctioned. You may go.”

    “Thanks, again.”
     
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    Part 8!

    Part 8!


    Sethu woke up early next morning. After finishing his morning routines he sat for an hour in meditation.

    He vividly remembered the words of his Master spoken on the day he completed his training in martial arts:

    “Sethu, you are now a Master in Varmakkalai. At times you may be forced by circumstances to hurt others. But during such times you should act as if you were God. When God punishes us, He does not hate us.

    “He hands over the punishment with a little bit of reluctance but nevertheless with the full force. Have that attitude while punishing your enemy.

    “You are entitled to protect yourself. And you have a duty to make your enemy realise that what he is doing is wrong. Don’t indulge in mindless violence.

    “And above all, while attacking the enemy there should not be any hatred in your heart.”

    As he remembered the soft face of his Master and his softer words, his heart calmed down. He looked deep into his mind to look for any signs of hatred towards Balki.

    He prayed to his Master and God that his punishment should be a turning point in Balki’s life. And that he should not turn over to the side of good.

    After about an hour of meditation he decided on the quantum of punishment. Now he had to finalise the mode of delivery. He had four days for planning and execution.

    At about 7 in the morning he left his small one-bed room flat in Ramnagar, Saidapet, disguised as a sanitation worker.

    He was dressed in khaki shorts and a lose fitting slightly torn shirt. He wore a lose fitting turban made out of a dirty cloth to mask his face.

    Around 8 he took his position outside Balakrishnan’s palatial house at Indra Nagar.

    For the next three days Sethu did nothing other than noting Balki’s movements. He also went to Balki’s massive GN Chetty Road office a couple of times.

    By the end of the third day Sethu had his final plan drawn up. He had decided on the time, the place and the mode of delivery.

    Sethu had planned virtually everything.

    But there is a theory that even if you had considered a thousand variables and had drawn a fool-proof plan, there will still be a last minute surprise. Sethu’s attack plan provided a vibrant proof for that theory.
     
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    Part 9!

    Part 9!


    It was a cold Friday night. The time was 11 PM. Balki was driving from his office to his house. He was taking a friend with him.

    The friend was in his mid fifties. Balki had wanted to discuss something serious with that friend for the whole night and so he was taking him home.

    On all the three days that Sethu had watched Balki, he was driving alone. Many times he did not even use the services of his driver. Sethu had not provided for the presence of another man in the car.

    His large Elantra had taken the Thiagaraya Road, popularly known as Pondy Bazaar and then hit the Mount Road at the Teynampet Signal. He took a right turn and after a while took the left to Cenotaph Road and then to Kotturpuram Road.

    There was virtually no one on the road. Once in ten or fifteen minutes a solitary vehicle was passing by.

    Balki’s vehicle was stopped by a traffic sergeant in a deserted part of Kotturpuram Road.

    “What the hell do you want?”

    Balki had never been stopped by a traffic cop.

    “I want to see your car’s RC and insurance.”

    “Tell me how much do you want. Get the money and get lost.”

    The Sergeant got annoyed. He opened the car’s door.

    “Get down from the car. I am going to charge you for your bribe offer.”

    Balki got down from the car. Meanwhile his friend also got down from the other side of the car.

    “But before that, Officer, I want to see your Photo ID.”

    “Really? Ok, here you go.”

    The Sergeant put his hand into his packet. When it came out there was no ID card in it. But his index finger and middle finger were strangely intertwined.

    Before Balki could realise what was happening the ‘Sergeant’ directed his intertwined fingers towards Balki’s windpipe. Balki just felt a cold touch and then a shooting pain in his throat. That was all.

    He wanted to holler. But no sound would come out of his mouth. There was a look of shock in his frightened eyes. Balki had lost his power of speech.

    The Sergeant did not speak a word. Balki’s friend panicked.

    “Hey, what are you doing? I am calling the Commissioner of Police right now.”

    He tried to punch numbers in his mobile.

    Sethu’s mission had been accomplished. He should have fled the scene.

    Sethu saw Balki’s friend in light rays shed by the bright sodium vapour lamp. He had not seen that person earlier.

    But somehow his mind was filled up with inexplicable anger and hatred. It was a surprise for him. He did not have any hatred towards the man who tried to kill him.

    His mind was emitting poisonous waves of loathing and hostility towards a man whom he was meeting for the first time in his life.

    For the wrongdoer Balki, Sethu had precisely measured the quantum of punishment. Balki would not be able to speak for at least six months. After that he would be normal.

    But that six months of trauma would be sufficient to drive out all evil from his mind. At least Balki would not come a mile near Sethu or his people.

    Balki’s friend was just a bystander. Sethu never thought there would be another person in Balki’s car. But that did not matter at all. Sethu had done his job and could have just ran away from the scene.

    But somehow when he saw that person feelings of loathing, disgust and a blind animosity rose in his mind. They took control of Sethu’s intellect.

    Sethu acted as if he were possessed. When Balki’s friend tried to grab Sethu with one hand, while talking on his mobile, Sethu’s anger got the better of him.

    His practised hand landed with a great force on that person’s neck. They stayed there for a little longer than necessary. Only when Sethu took back his hands did he realise the result of his act.

    The other person would be paralysed for life. Sethu’s blow aimed at a point on the right side of the persons neck would paralyse his left side for the rest of his life.

    The person let out a loud wail. His mobile phone had fallen from his hands. Sethu picked that up and placed a call to the Police Control Room. Without disclosing his identity he informed them about the incident.

    Sethu could hear cars coming at a distance. He disconnected the phone, threw it into the car and slowly walked out of the scene.

    Only after reaching home did he know the full import of his actions. Why did he hit an innocent bystander? And with such a force as to maim him for life?

    Sethu could never forgive himself. What was the point in hitting a perfect stranger? A man he had never seen before in his life?

    Why should Sethu feel so much hatred towards that man, while he could handle Balki, the man who wanted to kill him, with perfect calmness?

    Sethu started walking towards his home. It was a long walk. By the time he reached his home it was two in the morning. Sethu did not even bother to change.

    He just fell down on his bed in a feverish state. The scene at Kotturpuram Road was repeatedly enacted in the screen of his mind. His body could not bear the weight of his conscience.

    His body temperature soared to 103 degrees. Sethu lapsed into a state of delirium.

    Nothing happens by chance. There is a connection between the humble grass crushed under our feet and a star lapsing into a blackhole millions of light years away. Most of our worries arise from our inability to see the web which organically connects the grass and the distant star.

    At that time Sethu could not know that his sudden outburst of inexplicable anger towards an innocent bystander was integrally connected to his past and future.
     
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