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HE - Episode 9

Discussion in 'HE - Serial Story' started by varalotti, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    HE

    A Serial By Varalotti Rengasamy


    Episode 9


    Timeline A




    Trouble started for Priya and Madhavan, especially for the latter, when Madhavan vehemently stopped their firm from taking over his friend’s company.

    Some angels decided to go in support of Madhavan. But it was already too late.

    Madhavan was busy in his office when that call came to his direct land-line number. The caller introduced herself as a lady lawyer practising in the Madras High Court.

    She wanted to talk to him about the danger that was surrounding him on all sides. She could not do so on the phone as she was sure that the line was not secure. She called him to her country club on the East Coast Road for an hour’s session.

    Madhavan was shocked. But accepted the offer.

    Unknown to Madhavan the line was tapped and the conversation was recorded. Destiny left the scene fully confident that what it started would be completed by human beings viler than itself.

    Even before Madhavan reached the lady lawyer’s country club the person sent to videograph the meeting was there. The Vulture had friends in all high places. So the videographer had come in as club’s staff to record something for an ad.

    Soon the lady lawyer joined Madhavan. She was dark and a little on the plumpy side. But the sharp features on her face and the way she bore herself portrayed her as a no-nonsense woman. There was a ring of truth and honesty about her.

    The videographer had erected tripods and cameras in many places. He and his staff were making a lot of noise running here and there. Nobody suspected them. He had placed two powerful Sony Handycams at vantage points to capture the historic meeting.

    Even before they started to converse the cameras had started running eager to capture even the slightest of the gestures and the smallest of the sounds coming from their side.

    In order to distract their attention from the real cameras, the videographer was making a lot of movemets and noises with the dummy cameras he was handling along with his assistants.
     
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  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 2!

    Part 2!


    I’m Kalpana.”

    “Madhavan.”

    “I hate to discuss things like this in our very first meeting.”

    “If you want to help me, please come to the point directly. I am stressed up already.”

    “Well, Mr.Madhavan, do you know who is your company’s permanent legal counsel?”

    “I don’t know. My wife Priya is handling all that kind of stuff. She said some name, but I don’t remember.”

    Kalpana gave the name of the lawyer.

    “He is known as the Vulture. I don’t have to tell you that when vultures circle around something, it is as good as dead.”

    “….. ”

    “Yes, he is a take-over specialist. But nothing about him is either legal or professional, let alone moral. I am a company lawyer myself. I have never seen a company surviving with the Vulture as its Counsel.”

    “Well, Madam, you want me to fire him and retain you as our Counsel, right?”

    Kalpana was offended. Remembering her crucial mission she swallowed the insult and went ahead.

    “No, Mr. Madhavan. I don’t want that. Thank God, I am making enough money in my profession.”

    “Mrs. Kalpana, at one time I was pissed off with Smart Ads. Priya teamed up with this lawyer to help us take over that company. That’s the whole relationship between our company and that lawyer.”

    “And you have forgotten the Creative Ads story.”

    “OK, that was a mistake. Priya’s over-enthusiasm was the problem there. Now that’s over. I told her not to go ahead with that. And they have stopped.”

    “Or they just told you so. They have not stopped, Mr.Madhavan. They have just put it on hold. They have not transferred back the shares to their previous owners. Even though they were offered twice the price, they are not willing to part with the shares. What does that mean? They want to go in for the kill.”

    That was news to Madhavan. Before it could sink fully in him there was another bombshell.

    “I will not be surprised.. if there’s an affair between Priya and that Vulture.”

    “MADAM..”

    Everybody turned to look at them. The pity was even the videographer who was just standing a few feet away was stunned by the outburst.

    “Please, Madhavan, please. Control yourself. Please sit down.”

    “How dare you say that? You are a professional and you are a woman. How come you had the heart to utter such a bull****? If my Priya hears that she will kill herself.”

    “Please Madhavan. Please try to understand. This is about your last chance. That’s why I am desperate. If I had hurt you, I’m sorry. I apologize.

    “Fifteen years back this Vulture was the Counsel for a leading textile group in <st1:place>South Tamilnadu</st1:place>. He laid a trap for the MD’s wife and seduced her. She was a foolish woman who could not resist his charm. She fell for him.

    “Then he coaxed her into gifting her shares in the company to him. Then he made her file for divorce. The young MD killed himself. The vulture sold the company for several millions and then dumped that lady. He is a professional womaniser.”

    If Madhavan was a little shocked, he did not show.
     
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  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 3!

    Part 3!


    That can’t work with Priya.”

    “That’s where you commit a blunder. Priya is after all a human being just like that MD’s wife. I have seen this problem in almost all the cases I have handled.

    “People think ‘This cannot happen to my wife or my husband or my daughter or my son.’ They forget for a moment that being their wife or husband or son does not make them any less a human being.”

    Madhavan was frozen.

    “Your wife is a good lady. I almost did a research on her and find her a woman of high moral standards, if we just overlook this nasty take-over business. But please remember that the Vulture is a past-master in the art of seduction. And being your wife does not grant her any special protection from the Vulture.”

    Madhavan was at a loss for words. Kalpana took the lead.

    “Is your wife in town now?”

    “No. She has gone to Delhi. Will be back in two days.”

    “Now listen. As soon as your wife comes you force her to take rest for a month. And preferably send her to a foreign location. Revoke all the authorisations and powers of attorney given in her favour. Then fire the Vulture. And never go a mile near him again.”

    “Will that be enough?”

    “For the time being, yes. We will meet here next week. We can review the situation at that time.”

    “One question, Madam. Why have you taken all the trouble to warn me? I am not known to you. Is it because of the professional rivalry you have with the other lawyer?”

    “Personal rivalry, Mr.Madhavan. You heard about the young MD’s wife. That was me. I come from a very rich, respectable textile family in Coimbatore. I studied law before my marriage. So I was sent to discuss our company’s legal cases with the Vulture.

    “I was a religious and pious woman. But the Vulture destroyed all that. Once he got what he wanted from me, he dumped me mercilessly. I suffered hell for a while.

    “Then with the help of some of my friends I joined a law firm and then established my own profession. I don’t have the power to destroy him. The least I can do is to prevent others from being destroyed by him.”

    Now there was real fear in Madhavan’s eyes.

    “So long, Mr.Madhavan. We’ll meet here next week. Meanwhile if you want anything, you can call me on my mobile. This is my card.”

    “Thanks.”

    That was the first and the last meeting that Madhavan had with his guardian angel. The meeting they scheduled for the next week did not happen at all.

    When Destiny wields its power, at times even guardian angels are helpless.

    Madhavan was determined to do something on this crucial issue. But the Vulture was too smart to let him to.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 13, 2010
  4. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 4!

    Part 4!


    The Vulture was sitting in his private office in his Penthouse Apartment in a premium residential complex at Velachery. A glass loaded with the premium Black Label Scotch and a plate of roasted cashewnuts were before him.

    The Vulture was in his element now. The evil in him was so pure and perfect that never in his life did he suffer any qualms of conscience.

    While his intended victim Madhavan, was tossing in his bed unable to get even a wink of sleep, the Vulture was rejoicing. When he heard what Kalpana had to say about him, he was not angry. He just smiled.

    The Vulture did not have a family as such. He had reckoned pretty early in life that for his way of living, having a family would be a kind of weakness and a nuisance. He always had an army of servants, butlers and maids in his place. There were a lot of temporary laisons who provided him conjugal pleasure.

    But he had almost an orgasmic happiness when he planned something evil, as he was doing now.

    He put his glass down and thought for a moment. He had to tackle Priya and Madhavan now. If he did not do anything, Madhavan would drive Priya out of his office and then fire him. His target was not Creative Ads now. His target was Ad India.

    For a moment he stepped into the shoes of Madhavan and thought what kind of protective actions he might take. And he set out to destroy each of them.

    He called Priya on her mobile. Like all top bosses Priya carried two mobiles. Only a very few knew the existence of her second mobile and they called that number only in the case of a dire emergency. When the Vulture’s number flashed she knew something was seriously wrong.

    “Priya, just hear what I say. Don’t talk. You are in danger. Your husband has started plotting against you. Now don’t talk to your husband. If he calls you sound normal. I’ll take care of your interest.

    “You may not believe me. But just listen. Your husband will receive you at the airport and before you reach home, will suggest, that you need to take a month off from work and go abroad for a vacation.

    “If he says so just ask time to think it over. Then when you are alone, call me. I’ll give my plan. Take care.”

    The Vulture disconnected.

    The Vulture placed the next call to a popular TV serial Director who was on his rolls. He ordered him to come to his place immediately.
     
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  5. varalotti

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    Part 5!

    Part 5!



    After getting the call from the Vulture, Priya lost her sleep. ‘Will Madhavan plot against me? Will my Madhavan, my love, do something to hurt me? No, it cannot happen at all.’

    She wanted to wake up Madhavan and ask him about all that nonsense. But she had never dared to go against Vulture’s instructions. Vulture might have a bad reputation, Priya mused. But he will never play with me.

    That was always the excuse people had while dealing with evil. ‘Yes, he might me evil to others; but he wont dare to do those things to me.’

    That was a kind of cognitive dissonance into which people fell, when warned about the presence of evil in a close confidante.

    ‘Let me just obey the Vulture’s instructions now. If by any chance Madhavan forces me to go on a holiday then I will think about the next step. But if Madhavan does not propose that, I shall immediately fire the Vulture and would not have anything to do with him.’

    Priya’s Jet Airways flight landed in the Kamaraj Domestic Terminal, Chennai at about 8 PM two days later. As soon as the craft came to a grinding halt, she switched on her Blackberry. A cryptic Email was waiting for her.

    “Should Madhavan ask you to go on a vacation, don’t show your emotions. Just pretend to agree. Any wrong move now will cost your life.”

    She knew it was from the Vulture.

    Madhavan was waiting for her just outside the arrival gate. When he hugged her, there was neither love nor romance in it. Priya could feel a sense of emptiness within. She was now really afraid that what the Vulture stated might be true.

    Priya was surprised to find that Madhavan had not come with a chaffeur. That in itself was unusual. She was now prepared for the worst.

    As Madhavan eased the car out of the parking lot and started driving towards the gate, he started talking about the weather in Delhi, the tax problem they had of late and other issues.

    The car was cruising on the GST Road, when Madhavan asked from out of the blue,

    “Honey, you have been working a lot. Why don’t you take a vacation let’s say for a month? You can be here in Chennai or better still go to some place Venice or Zurich. But just don’t do any work. Okay?”

    Madhavan had a strong sense of values. He had never lied or deceived in the past. So he could not play-act his part as efficiently as he wanted to. Though he was convinced that he was doing everything for the good of Priya, he had to strain his conscience a lot before telling a blatant lie. And the pity was, it showed.

    Priya had to take Herculean efforts to hide her shock and dismay. She turned the other side and mumbled feebly, “Not a bad idea, dear. Let me sleep on it.”

    Madhavan now felt that a great load has been lifted from his heart. He reached Priya’s cheeks with his free left hand and fondled it.

    Destiny was of course not present in the scene. But It was playing from afar. Had Madhavan raised his hand a few millimetres more, he would have felt Priya’s tears.

    Then he would have known that something was wrong. He would have stopped the car. There would have been some heated exchange and the truth would have come out. The matter would have been sorted out then and there. The Vulture would have been driven out of their lives.

    All these and a hundred other “would have beens” were powerless before the one most powerful “is”.
     
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  6. varalotti

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    Part 6!

    Part 6!


    The Vulture was on his sixth large of Black Label Scotch when the TV Serial Director was ushered into his room.

    He offered a glass to the Director and then without much of preliminaries flicked his remote. The meeting between Madhavan and Kalpana came to life before them. The LCD projector produced a crystal clear image on the large white wall before them.

    As the bass voice of Madhavan started filling the room, the Vulture flicked the remote to mute the audio.

    “I want you to do the script for this scene on these lines.”

    The Vulture described the scene for the next few minutes.

    The Director had done many such ‘scripts’ for the Vulture. Even then he found the suggestion quite shocking. But he knew better than to speak his views, or speak against the Vulture.

    The next important scene happened in the Vulture’s office. Priya was seated in a large comfortable chair, when the famous club scene was projected before her. The Director and the computer graphics expert had done a brilliant job.

    In the very first scene Priya saw Madhavan almost hugging that dark, plump woman.

    “I hate to be away from you dear, even if it is for a few hours.” Priya heard the lady talking.

    “Please help me, honey. I too can’t live without you.” Priya choked on hearing Madhavan.

    “Well, Madhavan, we need to plan now.”

    “Yes. I want to eliminate Priya. I can’t wait to be away from you any longer.”

    “Patience, Darling, Patience. I have a master plan for you.”

    “I can’t wait.”

    “Is your wife in town now?”

    “No. She has gone to Delhi. Will be back in two days.”

    “Now listen. As soon as your wife comes you force her to take rest for a month. And preferably send her to a far off foreign location. I will see to it that she never sets foot in India. Is that okay, honey?”

    “Superb plan. I shall personally go to the airport to pick her up. And suggest that she take a vacation.. as if I am concerned with her health….”

    NO

    Priya screamed.

    She picked up a paper weight and threw it on the wall. The Vulture was precisely waiting for this moment.

    The video Priya saw was at once the height of technological excellence and the lowest depth of moral depravity.

    The Director who worked on the project had ensured a right mix of truth and falsehood in that video clipping that it deceived even a person like Priya, whose alertness was respected in her business circles.

    The Vulture waited till Priya finished gulping a glass of cool water. He knew very well that in matters like these, even the slightest trace of speech or movement in the wrong direction would result in an overkill.

    While the video showed Madhavan as a scheming villain, the Vulture spoke in support of him. That way he placed himself beyond suspicion.

    Priya was passing through the worst period of her life. And her time was so bad, that the devil set out to destroy her looked like a guardian angel to her.

    “What are you going to do Priya?”

    The Vulture asked point blank.

    Priya’s answer was a violent sob. The Vulture got from his seat and put his hands affectionately over her shoulders.

    Amidst sobs, Priya blurted: “I am going to confront him with this CD. I am going to pull up his collars and ask him on his face, where did I fail as a wife, to make him go for that ugly hag.”

    “That’s risky, Priya. Once he knows that you know, you are at danger. Promise me you will never do that.”

    Priya mumbled something.

    The Vulture was now giving his master-stroke to the whole scheme.

    “You know, Priya, even after all these, I still respect Madhavan. He’s a great man.”

    “He’s a worm.” Priya shrieked.

    “Now wait dear. Anybody who works 16 hours a day and travels for 20 days a month, would probably succumb to stress. I think he’s sick. Very sick. And he needs professional help.”

    Priya was shocked at this new development. There was now a little hope in her. Madhavan being sick was a whole new scene, compared to Madhavan being vile.

    “I discussed his case with my psychiatrist friend. He says that this could be a classic case of endogenic depression caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. He says that a complete rest and a dose of anti-depressants would make him right again.”

    Priya was moved by this sudden ray of hope.

    “But how do I tell this to him? I cant tell him that you need to visit a psychiatrist.”
    “What are friends for, Priya? I have already thought about it. Here’s your game plan.”

    When the Vulture finished talking Priya shouted, “Brilliant. You are a real genius.”

    As soon as Priya left the Vulture placed another half a dozen calls to put the final stage of his destructive plan in place.
     
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  7. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Part 7!

    Part 7!

    Priya, have you thought about your vacation plan?”

    They were seated in the 24-Hour Coffee Shop at Sheraton. It was almost midnight. They had been working late that day. When Madhavan suggested about going out to “unwind and talk things out”, Priya readiliy agreed. After all she also had a hidden agenda.

    When Priya heard these words from Madhavan she felt a tug at her heart strings. She gulped a glass of water, cleared her throat and talked in a choked voice.

    “Madhavan, I need to confide something in you. I hate to tell you, but of late, I am getting depressed. I am afraid that I may be sick. I am afraid I may need professional help.

    “I have fixed up an appointment with Dr. Shankar. I am afraid to go alone. Will you please come with me? Will you please hold my hands, when the Doctor is talking to me?”

    Madhavan reached for her hands and held them tightly. Priya could see tears in his eyes.

    “Sure. Sure. What happened darling?”

    At that moment Madhavan wanted to give up all his business, assets and money and go with Priya to some exotic location to the other corner of the world.

    They had both reached a point of no return.

    They were now fully entangled in the web of deception.

    In a war between good and evil, good always wins, but only ultimately. It loses a lot of battles before it can claim its final victory over evil. A war is a war and so there are always some casualties on the side of good as well.

    Now this battle was won by evil. The Vulture. And it was too early to reckon the casualties.
     
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  8. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Great Sridhar, you posted this week's episode nice and early. I could not wait to read it as soon as I saw it!
    But all tha excitement vanished into sadness as I read this episode. This is the most painful part of the story thus far. So sad. I know, there is no escaping one's 'vidhi'.
    Should such dynamic and high profile characters such as Priya and Madhavan succumb to such vile play? Does not their sharp intuition guide them by now about dealing with various characters? How could they?.........Yes, all questions that I want to hurl at you. But the way you have spun the story, it is almost like you have carefully built in all the valid answers! You are thinking a step ahead of your IL'ites!
    Human beings are puppets in the hands of fate.
    My only hope is that this time, the goodness and truth prevails and Madhavan and Priya will come out of the Vulture's grip and latch on to a fresh lease of life.

    Once again, a very smooth narration and ended before I could grasp the scenes to their fullest!

    L, Kamla
     
  9. chocolate

    chocolate Platinum IL'ite

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    Re: Part 7!

    I cant believe Priya cudnt see thru the vulture.I guess he was meant to win this battle.Madhavan of all people ,i cant believe didnt check about him.Its getting very interesting although i wud have loved if Madhavan was to take his revenge from the vulure with careful planning.Loved the way you have built his character.Waiting for the next one.
     
  10. Lalitha Shivaguru

    Lalitha Shivaguru Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar, (Note the change in name)

    Brilliant episode. I just couldn't fathom when evil takes over, it prepares itself very well to strike and vanquish. But as Kamla says how couldn't Madhavan & Priya's intuition fail them ? To be very frank you have plotted the evil very well - gone to such a deep extent of thinking, kudos sridhar:clap

    I have been reading your US trip stories (I know not a proper thread to reply but couldn't help appreciating) was just surprised to see how you could relate ordinary mundane things to our life.

    The best of 2007 for me is I accidentally stumbled into this wonderful site and met the great writer aka sridhar and become a die hard fan of yours. Just can't wait for your posts.Honestly I am saying this not just to appreciate you.:hatsoff:hatsoff:hatsoff:hatsoff
     

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