Started at (K)nighted Men-Part 1

Contd from There is something else as well- Part 8

“What? And why are you telling me this now?” Salim finally snapped.

***

Mala sat quietly on her bed remembering that dreadful night when it all began to disintegrate.

“Maybe you should tell him,” the man was wearing a white kurta and his crisp mehendi coloured hair showed no signs of fading. One could say he looked younger than he really was.

“And risk losing everything?” she spoke between silent tears.

“It is the only right away given the present scenario. Sooner or later they will start seeping in our lives,” he spoke rather quietly.

“Who?” she looked confused.

“Lies. The events we have brushed under the carpet all along,” his voice wavered at the thought of them.

***

Malini walked very quickly as soon as she realised that she was being followed. Her footsteps made quite a racket on the road on account of her sharp heels. But the faster she walked the more easily they could maneuver their way through the crowd.

She knew speed wasn’t the key. She needed a distraction.

Das ka teen madame, original piece hai,” the little man with his red shoes and brown shirt chirped in.

Yeh toh bada mehenga hai,” she found an escape in the excited street hawker alongside. Her mind half present in the setup, she knew that delay would allow her some fresh thinking.

Aap paanch le lo,” prompted by her interest his fervor to sell peaked.

By this time she saw that the men had found a resting place. They had located themselves at an angle where they could keep an eye on her without moving.

Abhi bhi mehenga hai,” and with this she began moving.

She knew that the idea of selling was so deeply rooted in his mind that he wouldn’t let her go that easily. And in the entire confusion, the group of men would be left more distracted than anything.

Aap bolo kitne ka doon?“the man continued his haggling.

Abhi toh mehenga hai. Aur better price batao,” she played her part with beauty, taking small steps every now and then to the side and front.

She could see from the corner of her eye that the men had found the entire activity quite frustrating. They tried to match her footsteps but in vain. Because every two steps they had to wait and lurk around, pretending to buy something.

She knew one of these moments when their backs our turned she had to escape.

“Aap free mein le lo didi,” the man persistent to make his sale continued.

And in that very second she saw that another street hawker and caught hold of the three men at the back. She knew it was now or never. In one quick movement she hailed a taxi and left. She could see from the window that they were yet to realise they had lost her.

***

Inspector Salim quietly followed the courier guy. He had found the man’s uncharacteristic ignorance at being followed very suspicious. He knew this could not be the case.

In one quick movement he closed on the gap. But somewhere a large sound distracted his mind. Before he could react he fell someone’s hand close on his mouth.

contd. at It was a close call- Part 10

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