An Important Prescription...!
An Important Prescription...!
The man was unusually tall and built like a tank. The harsh glint in his eyes and the long, angular scar running across his right cheek left an indelible impact on all who set eyes on him. Though it was nowhere as horrendous as the scars he sported elsewhere on his body, it was the only one that was visible, and he carried it with the pride of a soldier sporting a medal.
He sat on one side of the table in a dimly lit room, dressed in his trademark blue jeans and black T-shirt, surveying the man standing on the other side.
It was a large room but the three bodyguards to the scar(r)y man named Raj who is the leader of the gang, all were heavily built, occupied most of it and the depressing yellow trickle of light from the solitary bulb hanging nakedly in the center made it seem much smaller.
Raj controlled every ounce of opium that was received in or moved out of the area and every possible illicit activity that took place in that part of the city. He signaled his bodyguards to search the other man standing opposite to him. He was wearing a formal dress that was branded on the costlier side of the scale. The guards searched every inch of him and nodded their heads with approval and went back to their respective places.
"Who sent you here?", Raj rasped.
"How do you know him", again the rough harsh voice.
"A friend of mine guided me to him"
"What do you want? Dope?"
"No, this is some other work"
"Spit it out"
"Abduction, what's your price?"
"We do the only assassination. Not abduction. Not our domain"
"What about if the price is right?"
"That's for assassination. Neat work. Kidnapping is dangerous.
Chances are there for identification by the victim after release", Raj uttered in a voice that grates on the nerves and tenderly scratching his left wrist on the bandage over the wound he attained due to a dog bite during his previous endeavor.
"Then how much?"
"Fifty lakhs. Final"
"I'm authorized only for thirty lakhs"
"No bargain. Take off"
"Ok, we will give twenty-five in advance and another twenty-five after you delivered the package"
"We don't do business with advance payment. We want the whole amount first. Only then we move on"
"How can we believe you"
"You believe me or don't believe me, that's your choice. Not mine"
"Ok, fifty lakhs", the man in the formals dropped all the money on the table from the bag he brought with him. The guards counted and nodded silently.
The man in the formals gave him a nice picture taken two weeks ago.
"Ok, where should the package be delivered?"
"What about in this same place?"
"No, we don't talk business in the same place twice"
"Ok, place the package in a grey colored Innova that would be parked at the east side of the bridge inside a thicket of trees"
"Ok, you may go now"
"You didn't even ask for my name?"
"That's good for you. Now, scoot"
In Ramanathan's dictionary being sober meant only after three rounds. But, today he didn't want to go home soberly because he was very much disappointed. He lost about five lakhs in the gambling today. Yesterday, he won about one lakh. So, he was sober with only three rounds. Now, he is very much upset, and because of that, the extra rounds. For the past few months, he became upset too often. His wealthy brother in law, a professor of pathology, rescued him from his disappointments frequently. But, last time his brother in law warned him that he won't get even a single dime next time.
"Damn it, I will somehow get part of his wealth", he slurred.
A man who sat opposite to him, his drinking buddy, Murthy, because of the fear of not getting his drinks free of cost, said to his friend,"if we try a little bit harder, we can get a portion of your brother in law's wealth"
"How is it possible? He is a very stubborn man. He won't even give a single rupee"
"I have a plan", he started to enumerate it.
When Ramanathan heard it completely, he was shocked.
"You mean to kidnap my niece?"
"Buddy, we surely won't harm her. We will keep her in a place for two days only. Then only your professor brother in law will budge"
"You surely won't harm her?"
"You better stick to your word. If anything happens to her, you know I'm not a fool"
"I will keep my word. Hundred percent. And your friendship is important to me"
"And what about the risk?"
"There will be no risk. Believe me"
"Still, I feel not comfortable"
"Taking a portion of wealth from your own house is not illegal"
"That's not my house. That's my sister's"
"Oh, where do you live nowadays?"
"In my sister's house"
"Then, that's your house. Don't worry"
"Ok, let's do it. I should teach that professor, a lesson about how to share his wealth with his wife's brother!"
Professor Dr. Vishnu Prakash is a man of perfection. Being moderately built and slightly bald and at about five feet eleven inches height, he exuded power and kindness, the qualities which not always go together. He had a house that spread over about five acres of land around his five-storied building with a swimming pool on its left side. In the garage, a BMW for his own use, a Fortuner for his wife, and an Audi for his only one daughter Ananya. The professor inherited his huge wealth from his father who was a tycoon. He was the only son of his father. Everything was absolutely fine in his life except his brother in law Ramanathan. He was the only problem. He was losing money in all possible ways. The professor had to take care of his debts. He decided hereafter he won't give another dime to him. What a useless fellow!
It was eleven in the morning. He was in his lab. The professor was a pathologist researching about the cancer cells and using TNF (tumor necrosis factor) for its treatment. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a multifunctional cytokine that plays important roles in diverse cellular events such as cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, and death.
The professor was peeking through a microscope.
Nandhini, a third-year PG student in pathology who was also helping the professor in the project turned towards the professor,
"Sir, I have extracted the TNF from the cancer cells as you told", Nandhini informed.
"Good. I think you know that the TNF exerts its biological functions through activating distinct signaling pathways such as nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)", the professor continued,
"Do you know the functions of NF-KB?"
"NF-κB is a major cell survival signal that is anti-apoptotic, actually, this pathway promotes tumor growth sir"
"You are right", he goes on," only the sustained JNK activation contributes to cell death"
"Sir, If we can extract the JNK from the TNF, then we may find a method to destroy the cancer cells?"
"Yes, you are right. But, we have to ensure the biocompatibility of giving a large dose of JNK"
"Sir, how can we extract the JNK?"
"I already did. By sticking an antibiotic to the NF-kb"
"Sir, that's fantastic!"
"But, don't tell anyone. This should help the poor. This is not for making money"
"Okay, sure sir"
At that time, Ananya, the professor's daughter entered cheerily into the lab.
"Hi doctor Nandhini, how are you? Tell your poor friends that if they kidnap me, they will surely extract at least five crores", she laughed at her own joke unaware of the two men conspiring for the same act ten kilometers away at a bar and already another conspiracy was planned by the people very close to her.
"Who has the guts to kidnap this gorgeous doll?", Nandhini also joined in her laugh.
Guna, seated apposite to his buddy Mani, sipping the diluted Royal challenge in a plastic cup.
It was a dingy little bar. The bitter fluid burned his throat as it was moving down, only mounted his irritation.
"Hell, we have to go for a big haul", his small, dark eyes restlessly hunting for any opportunity for the fast buck, he sat there like a vulture in search of a sucker.
A burst of sudden laughter erupted from a table nearby. A stool was knocked down at the corner when two men engaged in a fight.
"What do you have in your mind?", Mani asked with a slur. He drank his beer steadily and slowly, but not taking his lips from the glass until the glass was empty. Then he set down the glass, wiped his mouth with his forearm, and released a long, soft sigh.
"A very big haul by kidnapping for a ransom"
"How long will you snatch chains here and there? We should pull a big one and be settled"
"You decided the person?"
"Do you know that estate of a professor near the central park?"
"We are going to abduct his beautiful daughter"
"Did you plan the approach?"
"Not yet. But, if we plan it foolproof, we will pack at least fifty lakhs", His little mouth that reminded of the mouth of a red snapper went through the motions of a smile
Guna squeezed the plastic cup and threw it in the dustbin.
He stood up unsteadily and stumbled along the aisle between the rows of tables. Mani caught him when he was about to fall.
A man was awkwardly trying to open the door without even touching the handle.
"Hey buddy, let me open the door for you", Guna volunteered, he pushed the person away and fumbled on the handle for some minutes and finally succeeded. They both exited the bar leaving behind the scream of the man who was pushed.
It was a warm evening. The sun had been beating down hard and unrestrained for most of the day, but it was six o’clock now and the sky was hazier. The temperature had dropped and the air had a golden hue to it. Professor Vishnu Prakash parked his car over his reserved space in the parking lot of that beautiful golf club. Then he got down, unloaded his golf bag from the car trunk, went to the clubhouse room, changed his clothes, and put on his golf shoes. When he was stowing water bottles in his bag and tugging on the golf gloves, someone patted on his
shoulder. He turned and smiled at the man, "oh, you!" he asked the man named Ajay Malhotra who was a well-built tycoon and a good friend of himself,
"When did you come?"
"Just now only, you wanna join me?"
They both trod towards the putting green, Ajay Malhotra asked,"any special news?"
The electronic whir of the golf cart was subdued by the laughter behind them in the lounge. The smell of freshly mown grass, cologne, and deodorants was lingering in the atmosphere.
"Yeah, one great news. Will tell you about it when we back to the lounge"
They practiced in the putting green area for fifteen minutes and then they went to the teeing area. They finished only six holes. Since it was getting late, they returned to the lounge.
After they were seated and having their own beers,
Ajay Malhotra asked again,
"Could I hear the great news?"
"Take a wild guess"
"Mhmm, sorry, I'm at a loss"
"Okay, At last, I found the cure for cancers", the professor said with pride.
"Oh my God, it's great news indeed", Ajay Malhotra exclaimed, "so, we are going to manufacture and market it jointly! What news!"
"Sorry Ajay, this product goes to the government, for the poor people"
"Ok, no problem, no hard feelings", Ajay Malhotra declared, "but, a little disappointment to me", he smiled.
"Don't get upset Ajay. We will work in some other projects jointly", the professor assured.
At that time, Ajay Malhotra's mobile rang. He allowed the call in and said, "Okay, proceed", he then nodded to the professor and asked,"what about another beer to celebrate your victory?"
The professor nodded his head with a smile, "no thanks buddy. I have to leave now. Thanks for the company", the professor went to his car.
"Have a great time", his friend yelled at him.
A red-colored Maruti van was waiting at a corner that was isolated and deserted, waiting for the professor's car.
As the driver in the van saw the particular car was nearing him, he suddenly veered the van to the left to bump at the professor's car. Immediately the driver of the van got down and shouted at the professor to get down. The professor hesitantly got down from his car. The driver asked vehemently for the damages of the van. When the professor was about to say something, the side door of the van glide opened and two heavily built men got down and sprayed something on the professor's face which took him to an instant faintness. All the three stuffed the professor inside the van and sped away.
It was six in the evening. Abishek and Nandhini, both were seated opposite to each other in that small coffee house called cafe coffee day. Abishek ordered a cappuccino for him and espresso for Nandhini. They chose a table near the window. Nandhini peeked through the window. The beautiful evening sun cast long shadows on the ground. The slanting rays of the setting sun gave a warm orange tinge to the sky. When Nandhini was so immersed in the beauty of the setting sun, Abishek was immersed in the gorgeousness of Nandhini. He was watching Nandhini with such enormous admiration.
Nandhini was so beautiful. Her thick, wavy, long black hair gracefully fell down to her shoulders and encircled her diamond-shaped face. She had a clear complexion and high cheekbones. Her slightly arched black eyebrows highlighted her emotions by moving up and down as she reacted to her world around her. Her almond-shaped eyes and her beautifully curved nose gave her a little girl look that made Abishek smile when she talked. She had a small mouth outlined by puffy lips which were naturally pink without any lipstick. When she smiled, which is often, her well-formed and even, white teeth brightened up her whole face. Abishek was surely head over heels in love with Nandhini.
"Hey, why are you staring at me like that?"
When he was about to tell something, a dude put his left hand deliberately over Nandhini's shoulder and hurriedly moved towards the counter. Nandhini's face became red in anger and she muttered, "nonsense"
"Hey dude", Abishek called out.
That dude turned towards Abishek and asked, "you called me?"
"Yeah, come here and say sorry to this young lady"
"Why should I?", he asked with an innocence painted look on his face.
"Because, If you don't, I will break your neck", Abishek started to stand.
That dude saw the height and built of his opponent and hastily said sorry to Nandhini and took off.
Abishek seated back. When both started to sip their drinks, Nandhini saw the news in the TV. The newsreader was announcing a kidnapping incident near the golf course.
The victim was a professor named Dr. Vishnu Prakash. The approximate time of the incident was about eight in the evening and there was no ransom demand till now.
"Oh my God, that's our professor!"Nandhini shuddered.
"My God", muttered Abishek. We should go to the professor's house now.
Ramanathan phoned his friend Murthy.
"Did you hear the news? Someone kidnapped my brother in law", he said in a desperate tone.
"It's a good thing for us"
"Did you notice there was no ransom demand yet?"
"We are going to sneak in and ask the dough"
"Will they believe us?"
"If we play the cards correctly, we will surely get it"
"Ok, what's the plan?"
"You be in your home with your sister. Because you have to manipulate your sister to give the ransom money without police intervention. I will take care of my side of the plan"
"How much will you ask?"
"What about two crores. One crore for each one of us"
"That sounds good"
Guna and Mani were in their dingy room.
"We can't kidnap the professor's daughter. Because there are lots of policeman in and around the house"
"What can we do now?"
"We have one possibility. There was no ransom demand yet"
"We are going to ask the ransom"
"Suppose, If the police ask for the proof?"
"That depends upon how we are going to play this plan"
"Okay, I'm in", Mani announced, "how much we are going to ask?"
"I have a figure in my mind. Let's stick on to fifty lakhs"
"Okay, hope you have a good plan at hand"
When Nandhini and Abishek reached the professor's house, there were lots of police forces in and around the house. Initially, they were not allowed inside the house. But, the professor's wife and his daughter requested the police to let them in.
In the living room, the professor's wife, his daughter Ananya, his brother in law and his friend Ajay Malhotra all were seated in a comfortable sofa. The professor's wife's face was swollen as she was weeping for a while. Ananya's eyes were oozing tears endlessly. Nandhini went over near Ananya and soothed her. An inspector was enquiring about the professor.
"Does he have enemies?"
The inspector turned towards Ajay Malhotra, "you are his friend. You may know better than anybody else about him. You tell me, sir"
"He has absolutely no enemies as far as I know"
"Do you have any idea what would be the reason for his kidnapping?"
"I only think of the money as the reason"
"But, there is no call for ransom yet"
At that time, the landline phone rang. The inspector signaled for silence in the room and instructed another officer to trace the call. Then he pressed the speaker button.
"Who is this? Police?"
"No, a family friend"
"No family friends talk like an officer"
"Ok, what do you want?"
"I want to talk to the professor's wife, inspector Vignesh"
Vignesh startled, 'how the hell he knows my name?'
Professor's wife spoke to the phone, "please, release my husband. We will give you whatever you ask"
"Keep two crores ready. I will inform the transaction details tomorrow afternoon", the line went dead.
The professor's wife went to another weeping bout. Nandhini pulled a wad of tissues from her handbag and handed it over to the professor's wife which she took it with muttering thanks.
Abishek went near the inspector and whispered to him, "If the guy knows your name, certainly a person here is helping to him"
"What if they planted a camera inside the house and watching me"
"That also gives proof of insider help. Without help from a person inside, how can one plant a camera?"
"Hello, Dr. Abishek, don't teach our work to me. You will land in trouble. Ok?", He advised with a stern look on his face.
Again the phone rang.
This time, a different voice. A voice of youth.
"The professor is with us. Arrange fifty lakhs within a day. Otherwise, you won't see him again"
"What's the proof that you are having the professor with you"
"Arrange and give the money first. You will see the professor. That's the proof. We will call you on tomorrow five in the evening"
The line went dead again.
Ramanathan shifted uneasily in his seat,'why the hell Murthy asking suddenly fifty lakhs? Definitely he is not! This voice was different. Then who? The real captors? In that case, what to do? He has to call Murthy now and alert him'
The inspector was in deep thought. First, a call for a ransom of two crores and then another call for a ransom for just fifty lakhs. So, one should be the real captor and the other might have sneaked in by knowing that there was no ransom demand yet.
The inspector announced, "okay, you may all go to your places. We will post two policemen for your safety. We will come in the morning and wait for the phone call. Meanwhile, we are going to do some searching"
The inspector left with his team. There were two policemen, guarding at the gate.
Ajay Malhotra advised the professor's wife and daughter to take care of themselves, told them not to hesitate to call him anytime for any help and left.
Nandhini and Abishek appeased the professor's depressed wife and crying daughter and swore to bring the professor home and left to their car.
On the way home, Abishek said that he was doubtful about the professor's brother in law.
"Why such an assumption?"
"Because his eyes were jerky. He couldn't see me directly. When I looked at him, he turned his face in another direction and i noticed the tremors in his hands. Most probably, he may be the man inside, helping someone"
"That's because he is an alcoholic"
"Anyhow, I doubt him"
He pulled over the car at Nandhini's hostel. We she got down, he said, "tomorrow morning we go to that place where the kidnapping took place"
"The police already searched that place thoroughly"
"But, we will also take a look"
The next day morning. Abishek stopped his car at the same place where the professor had been kidnapped. Both got down from the car. The morning sun started to scorch a little. The wind was blowing towards the north. Abishek searched for the tire marks. He was not able to deduce anything. Then he searched for about half a mile for any evidence in the direction of the wind. There, inside a bush, he saw a crumpled paper.
He bent over and retrieved the paper. There was nothing else other than that.
He unfolded the paper, smoothened it, and looked at it. It was a doctor's prescription. It read Inj. Raipur 3 amps. The doctor's name is Giridharan. He is running his clinic in the northern part of the town.
Abishek showed it to Nandhini.
She saw the prescription, "I don't know anything relevant for this case"
"Nandhu, this is a prescription for a dog bite. Usually, these thugs got dog bites when they were stealing houses. In that case, we know his name was Raj and he may be a gangster in that area"
"Why not it belongs to someone other than that thug?"
"See the date in the prescription. It dated four days back only and it was written by a doctor in the northern part of the city. Within four days it lies in the southernmost area of the city. How is it possible? Only a man can bring it"
"Oh my God, you may be right, "Nandhini exclaimed and kissed him on his cheek unexpectedly. An electric current went through Abishek's body and now he was immersed in that blissful experience for a few minutes. Then he regained his consciousness and mumbled, "okay, get in the car. We will go to the police"
They went to the station, met Inspector Vignesh, and told them everything.
"I told you not to involve yourself in this case. But, you came with the evidence we failed to produce. Let's see what it brings. We know the thug Raj"
After half an hour, Raj was brought to the station. There was a bandage on his left wrist.
Nandhini, Abishek, and the inspector exchanged looks. After an hour-long rough treatment, he accepted that he only kidnapped the professor.
"Where did you keep him?", a slap on the left side of his face brought another trickle of blood from the corner of his mouth.
"I transferred the professor to an Innova"
"Then tell me the number of the car"
He told the number.
The number was registered in the name of Ajay Malhotra.
Ajay Malhotra was arrested and was brought to the station.
He accepted that he kidnapped his friend for the formula of a new drug that cures cancers.
The professor was found in Ajay Malhotra's farmhouse.
He was taken back to his home.
The police were waiting for the ransom calls.
The first call came exactly in the afternoon.
"You drop the money in a..."
"Don't worry about the money. You come and collect it at the C-7 police station"
There was a long silence at the other end and the line went dead after that.
Another call came in exactly at five in the evening.
"Did you arrange the money"
"You sent the professor home without getting your ransom. What a pity? Come and get your money at C-7 police station.okay?"
The line went dead immediately.
The professor's family thanked Abishek and Nandhini for their tremendous help. Ramanathan seemed disappointed.
Nandhini looked at Abishek with her eyes exuding enormous love. What a man wants other than a lovely loving life partner?