Ravi Valluri

Drama Crime Thriller


Ravi Valluri

Drama Crime Thriller

The Gym Instructor - 2021

The Gym Instructor - 2021

7 mins

The year 2021 was no different from the previous one as swathes of lands across the globe were afflicted by the deadly microorganism which destroyed health systems and economies. Meanwhile in the sylvan surroundings of Goa was a gym trainer named Peter Cunho.

Peter was blessed with a well-toned and chiselled body. He had put in hours at the gym running on the treadmill and working out on the elliptic. He also pumped in iron and was renowned as a strapping young man. Peter had no shame in displaying his six-pack to a bevvy of females who flocked to the gym called " Go Insane".

" Man he is insane," Rachel gushed admiring Peter's torso as Martha nodded her head in agreement. " I love him, Martha," Rachel confided in Martha. " You love him or his six-pack? " Martha confronted Rachel as the two shared a dirty joke.

" Gosh the hunk would be a dynamo in bed," the two females literally screamed in unison after an intense session of Zumba. Peter looked at them disparagingly and then smiled at the two. Rachel and Martha were close friends and stuck like glue.

Goa is a state in India, comprising of a mainland district on the country’s southwestern coast and an offshore island. It is located about 250 miles (400 km) south of Mumbai (Bombay). One of India’s smallest states, it is surrounded by the states of Maharashtra on the north and Karnataka on the east and south and by the Arabian Sea on the west. The capital is Panaji (Panjim), on the north-central coast of the mainland district. Formerly a Portuguese possession, it became a part of India in 1962 and attained statehood in 1987. Area 1,429 square miles (3,702 square km). Pop. (2011) 1,457,723. " Go Insane " was a landmark gym joint that was frequented by large numbers of health freaks. But it had several shutdowns as the country had to maintain social distancing to ward off the lethal virus. The property was owned by one Arthur D'Costa. This effusive man owned a chain of physical training centres in prime hotels and resorts besides running various bards. He was a popular man and a prominent politician. Many expected him to contest from South Goa and be elected to the legislative assembly in 2022 polls for his humanitarian work during the pandemic.

Sandy beaches, estuaries, and promontories characterize the 65-mile (105-km) coastline of mainland Goa. In the interior region, low, forested plateaus merge with the wooded slopes of the Western Ghats, which rise to nearly 4,000 feet (1,220 metres) on the eastern edge of the state. The two largest rivers are the Mandavi and the Zuvari, between the mouths of which lies the island of Goa (Ilhas). The island is triangular, the apex (called the cape) being a rocky headland separating the harbour of Goa into two anchorages. Martha and Rachel both lovers of nature and ebullient in nature spent considerable time outdoors hitchhiking and swimming whenever the beach was open to the public. Blessed with curvaceous bodies they were the cynosure of Goa. Martha was also the stepdaughter of Arthur D'Costa. She and her bosom pal Rachel were majoring in Economics from Fr Agnel College Of Arts And Commerce.

There were tumultuous and rebellious times in the sixties, it was then not the ‘sweet betel’ that was the prime attraction but a different kind of ‘weed’. But Goa, since those days of the angry generation, has moved on to attract a multitudinous, peaceful and cosmopolitan school of visitors from all around the globe. Martha's grandfather Robert D'Mello was a singular leader of that generation. He was a rock star but mellowed down with age. His son Francis was in the real estate and tourism business and was married to Mary.

Down the corridors of time, Goa has been different things to different people. To the Portuguese conquerors, it was ‘Golden Goa’, the El Dorado, the ‘Rome of the East. Such was its beauty and grandeur, that a traveller was moved to remark: ‘Whoever has seen Goa, need not visit Lisboa’-Lisbon, which was then the grand epicentre of the Portuguese dominions. And Robert D' Mello was chipping to make Goa a paradise for tourism and rival Kerala as the alternative God's Own Country.

While the contemporary traveller may not come to modern, thriving Goa ‘for the sale of all sorts of merchandise’, the ‘fair’ is still very much on. The peregrinator is here to find something different: a balm on the busy mind, to enjoy days of freedom on Goa’s magnificent beaches, to parasail or swim with the tide of fellow visitors from all around the globe, to savour its unique cuisine and imbibe its spirits, to take a long and invigorating trek in its unexplored interiors, to marvel at its majestic temples and churches, in short, to be at one with the most friendly people in the country. This was the Pied Piper dream Robert was selling to Indian and foreign tourists. But his business suffered heavy losses as Covid -19 and its mutations spread their tentacles across the country and the state of Goa. As he suffered heavy losses in the multiple lockdowns he was to borrow heavily from Arthur D'Costa and his friends.

In the sixties and seventies, it was, as it was remarked, Goa was a haven for the hippies. Since then Goa has moved on to full-fledged Statehood, with its own Council of Ministers, a magnificent new Assembly complex, its citizens among the most literate in the country with a per capita income the highest in the land. At the hub of this prosperity, is the Tourism industry. The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), was the engine of growth. Arthur was a member of the council and helped his catholic friend.

Parliament by an Act extended the jurisdiction of High Court at Bombay to the Union territory of Goa Daman & Diu and established a permanent Bench of that High Court at Panaji on 30th October 1982. The court was packed with sardines as celebrities and bluestocking individuals jostled with each other. The day was the 31st of October 2021. 31st of October is also the martyrdom day when former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was felled to the bullets of her assassins' and is also remembered as the birth anniversary of the Bismarck of India. That is Sardar Patel where all government servants read out the pledge of integrity.

Justice AN Kunho read out the integrity pledge for the members of the judiciary and other legal members in the Honorable Court and pronounced his judgement. "

Under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code which provides for the punishment of murder, I hold Peter Cunho and Mary D'Mello, now Mary D'Costa for the cold-blooded murders of Arthur D' Costa and Martha D'Costa earlier Mary D' Mello and sentence them for life. The assemblage gasped in astonishment.

 Robert D' Mello was afflicted with Covid during the second wave and was under enormous stress on account of mounting financial losses. There was a pact between the two friends that Arthur D' Costa would bail out the family in the tragic circumstances.

Arthur D' Costa was a widower with plenty of money to splurge. Upon the demise of Robert, he exchanged rings with Mary. This was sometime in June 2021. But soon he developed physical intimacy with his stepdaughter Martha much to the chagrin and consternation of her mother Mary. Mary could never satisfy the ever-increasing sexual drive and hormones of Arthur D' Costa.

It was retribution time for Martha as she could never forgive her best friend Rachel Fernandes for getting romantically involved with the gym instructor. They were both romantically involved with the gym instructor of Go Insane. She was absolutely infuriated and insane when Peter spurned her entireties and preferred Rachel over Martha.

Women have a sixth sense and grasp the complex situation. She was engulfed with ignominy and was shamed by her new husband. A chastened woman approached Peter. Peter was popular but was deprived financially. He did not perform well academically as well and had to settle for a job of being a gym instructor. Mary offered him half the share of the property if he could execute the plan. This was something Peter never dreamt in life. A man who was barely drawing Rs 15k to 20k a month and with repeated shutdowns of Go Insane - the offer was extremely tempting and he fell for the bait.

He was perpetually chastised by his father for not climbing the social ladder. Repeated taunts of his father had injured his pride. And he desperately needed money to take care of Rachel Fernandes. Only physical prowess in the bed was not adequate. He required finances to settle down with Rachel whom he was extremely attracted to and wanted to live with her.

Justice AK Kunho was misty-eyed and his voice was choked as he pronounced the judgement. Peter was after all his son and Mary his sister whom he never took care of. The integrity pledge was administered on the martyrdom day. Fact is often stranger than fiction.

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