Vikram Patwari

Romance Action Thriller


Vikram Patwari

Romance Action Thriller

Vanished Into Thin Air... Or Water!

Vanished Into Thin Air... Or Water!

9 mins

‘Listen to what Mother Nature says…Water always makes ways...follow the opposite of right and the sun God makes the hidden world shine bright…!’

Charu and Abhay read the clue aloud for the umpteenth time. Abhay had even starting to compose a song and try various tunes out of it.

‘I didn’t know, I had a Musical Genius hidden inside me,’ he mocked and started crooning the clue in a new tune.

Charu started giggling and said, ‘Oh, Come on now, Abhay. Let’s get this sorted out and we both can leisurely compose a song or two.’

‘Wow… Just think of it. A Lawyer and a Police Officer composing a song. It surely would be a hit with the criminals, I suppose,’ laughed Abhay and started singing Michal Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ song to tease Charu.

‘As of now, it's definitely a Smooth criminal or criminals out there and it would take a Smoother Duo or Trio to outsmart and nab them,’ said Charu chewing on her Ball pen ferociously.

‘Stop chewing that, Charu. Let me get something edible for you to eat.’

Abhay went to the kitchen and fetched some cookies. ‘Here you go, these would taste better than that ball pen.’

Charu grabbed some cookies and smiled at him.

‘Coming to your point, what do you mean by ‘Trio’? ‘Duo’, I get it – You and Me.’

‘Yuvaan…’ said Charu grabbing another cookie. ‘We could use his help. You see, ‘This clue, Uncle Vincent’s story about some lady haunting the lake, Martha’s crazy outbursts highlighting ‘Lake’, ‘Tomb’ ‘etc.,’ all somehow indicate and point towards – The Lake! That’s the place we need to explore… ‘On it’, ‘From above it’ & ‘Beneath it’. We’d require a lot of things to explore the lake and Yuvaan would be able to arrange what’s required.’

‘Gee… Charu, you chose the wrong profession. You should have been a private detective.’ ‘And regarding this guy, ‘Yuvaan’. Do you really think, we should bring him in. I mean, I can pull a few strings. And so far, we both have done pretty good. Don’t you think?’ questioned Abhay making it honestly evident that he’d prefer the existing ‘Duo’ to a ‘Trio’.

Charu desperately tried to hide her smile as she sensed a slight sense of jealousness in Abhay’s questioning and demeanor. Did somehow, somewhere, some seed of romance start to germinate in their exciting adventure so far? Anyways, how far would Romantic interludes fit in their enigmatic, action filled endeavors, she wasn’t sure.

‘Abhay, we’d need a Motorboat, Surface-supplied underwater diving equipment and a Drone Camera,’ said Charu casually as if laying out a list of groceries and vegetables.

‘Are we looking out for ‘Titanic’?’ asked Abhay aghast at Charu’s plan.

‘I am not joking, Abhay. Just look at the clue again. To crack it, we would need eyes on the water, above it and beneath it. Trust me on this one, please’ she pleaded.

‘Ok, Charu. I am not exactly sure what you have in mind, but I am gonna trust your gut feeling, here.’


Meanwhile in a closed chamber at the City Mall


‘Close the door first’, ordered the Boss who sat on his heavily cushioned chair. ‘What news do you bring for me? Good, Bad or Ugly?’

‘Boss, I can’t make it out. I’ll give the news, you please decide which category it fits into,’ answered the muscled man meekly.

‘Ha, ha, Ha… I love your frankness and honesty.’ ‘I’d love more men like you in my employment.’

The muscled man nodded in gratitude at his Boss’s compliment and said, ‘She seems to be an old friend of the Police Inspector who’s investigating the case of the missing sword. They both have visited the Museum and managed to get hold of a small ‘Pyramid’ like thing. They also have found some kind of paper with a mysterious clue written on it. Her friend, ‘Yuvaan’ seems to be out of the scene as of now. But we are keeping an eye on all of them.’

‘Hmm…This girl seems to find a friend in every place and situation.’ ‘What do you make of it, Sir?’, asked the Boss to the person sitting on the chair opposite to him.

‘She’s making more headway than I expected. It only suits us that she finds friends and leads the way to the final destination where we’ll be ready to welcome them and grab the Grand prize!’ winked Vincent wickedly.

‘You must be the smartest, wickedest person alive in Fort Kochi’, said the Boss unable to control his laughter.

‘And the oldest…’ added Vincent and smiled. 


‘Oh… Hi Charu, come on in,’ said Yuvaan as he hugged her. 

Abhay was a foot behind her and tried hardly to control his face from animating at Yuvaan’s warm embrace.

They stepped into his home and Charu gestured to Abhay to come inside.

‘Hey Yuvaan, this is Abhay. He’s helping me on this ‘Missing sword’ case. He’s been as big a help to me as you were earlier.’

‘Of course, Who wouldn’t recognize the Top Cop in Fort Kochi! Hello Sir…’ said Yuvaan extending his hand to Abhay.

‘Abhay… you can call me, ‘Abhay’, ‘No formalities, please. We all more or less belong to the same age group,’ said Abhay shaking his hand with Yuvaan and immediately feeling foolish about his ‘age group’ comment.

‘Very well, Abhay suits me fine, Sir. Oops, sorry again. Abhay…’, said Yuvaan.

Charu immediately stepped into the kitchen to grab a Water bottle from the Refrigerator. What an introduction, she mused. She knew there would arise awkward, embarrassing, flirting situations going forward with this ‘Trio’, but harmlessly entertaining, nevertheless.

They settled down on the plush sofa and Yuvaan called out to the maid to arrange for some refreshments for them.

Charu filled in Yuvaan with their discoveries of late and briefly explained about the ‘Lake exploration’ plan and finally laid out the list of things for which they needed his help.

‘Motor boat – Available, no problem; Drone cameras – Got some at our office, no problem; Underwater diving equipment – Can rope them in from one of my friend who owns a Diving contracting company,’ acknowledged Yuvaan as simply as if they were trifle things that can be obtained pretty easily.

Charu looked at Abhay with a smile and he too smiled in appreciation of her judgment in the validation of the ‘Trio’.

‘Ok, Yuvaan. You take care of arranging those things. Meanwhile, I’ll get the requisite approvals from a legal standpoint. As much as I don’t prefer involving civilians in my case, I realize that Charu’s personal experience in recent times and the missing sword in my case are definitely inter-related. I know that even you both were investigating earlier on your own. So, instead of letting you both try to figure it out on your own, a Cop lending a helping, protective hand would be safer for you; And its already a case, I have taken up. So, even more, better!’ said Abhay quite unsure if he said what he intended appropriately (or) ended up bragging about his police power!

‘Thank you, Sir. Err…Abhay sir,’ blabbered Yuvaan while Charu covered her ‘blushing’ face with her hands.

‘Tea & Hot samosas…’ The maid brought in the refreshments saving the situation.


3 Days later…

‘Ok, Charu. We are all set, you suggest how we start,’ said Yuvaan clutching the Helm of the Motorboat.

‘Look at this map. We’ll start off from ‘Point A’ and keep on moving towards any slight left direction that we get. It might sound stupid, but as the clue says to ‘follow the opposite of right’, we might as well try it out’, said Charu sounding unconvincing even to herself.

‘Well, what’s harm in trying. Let’s do that,’ obliged Abhay. ‘And, don’t you both worry. I’ve got my Pistol with me and Backup team who’d step down in 15mins at a single call of mine.’

‘Thanks for that, Abhay. We really feel secure in your company,’ said Charu deliberately inducing respect and awe in that statement. Yuvaan turned the other way and smiled to himself.

After an hour of exploring, they found themselves at a shallow edge of the lake. It was a mushy corner with underwater bushes all around. The water hardly reached their knees.

‘So, is this it? Is the place where we look for whatever we are supposed to look for?’ inquired Yuvaan.

‘No, Definitely not. There should be something else; Something simple enough to understand but hard enough to interpret!’ Oh, wait…Ok, yeah. It could also mean differently,’ exclaimed Charu. ‘Let’s please head to ‘Point A’ again.’

‘What did you discover that you didn’t manage in the first attempt?’, asked Abhay.

‘Right’ doesn’t necessarily imply the direction. ‘Right’ could also mean ‘Correct’. So, you see instead of following the opposite of ‘Right’, which we thought ‘Left’, we’ll follow the opposite - the 'Wrong' direction.

Renewed with a positive frame of mind, they all started off again from ‘Point A’ and this time, they found themselves heading in a different direction of the lake. It was a big stretch and thick vegetation covered the land at the edges. This part of the lake definitely seemed quite hidden from the rest.

‘Now, Yuvaan. Please shoot this place with the Drone camera.’ ‘We are looking for a particularly bright spot; Bright made by the sunlight - ’the sun God makes the hidden world shine bright’ ‘

Though it seemed too fantastical to be true, Abhay and Yuvaan were both amazed at the way Charu was confidently deciphering the clue.

‘Right on, Madam’, said Yuvaan and sent his Drone up in the sky.

And lo behold, there it was… A tiny piece of shining bit in the huge canvass!

‘There it is… That’s the place. The sunlight seems to be directly piercing into the water making its own path.’ Yuvaan looked cheerfully at Charu and hugged her with pride. Charu noticed Abhay looking in all directions except theirs. She went towards him and hugged him. Abhay felt stoned, his stiff police stance seemed to have taken over him and he didn’t know how to react. Nevertheless, he softly patted her head and said, ‘Good work, Charu. Let’s hope, this is it and we find something in there.’

It was only helpful that Yuvaan and Charu had their bit of Scuba diving experiences in their past.

They both put on their suits, equipment, gave a thumbs up sign to Abhay and dived into the ‘shining bright’ part of the lake.

From what Yuvaan had told him, they didn’t expect the water to be more than 40feet deep. So, with their 80-cubic-foot tanks, they should be good for 45 to 60minutes under water.

Abhay started pondering what they’d find and how to proceed further. He mused over his redefined bonding with Charu in the last few days. He had felt so rejuvenated, energetic, and happy in her company; A feeling he had never experienced in life.

It was 40 minutes since they went underwater. Slowly, Abhay started to feel tense. What if both were eaten up by an underwater monster? What if they both float up dead? What if his department blames him for allowing them on a dangerous mission?

Another nerve-wracking 10minutes passed. He was about to dial up his Backup team officer when he saw Yuvaan slowly surfacing up.

‘Oh, Thank God. Thank Almighty,’ he prayed as he pulled up Yuvaan. ‘Now, you stay put and rest. Let me pull her up. You both scared the hell out of me. You better have a good explanation for that amount of time spent’.

While Abhay started looking for Charu in the water, he heard a feeble voice, barely coming out of Yuvaan’s mouth.

‘Charu has vanished.’

‘What?’ screamed Abhay shaking up Yuvaan wildly.

‘She just vanished in the water. Right in front of me. It’s like she just disappeared into thin air… or water!’

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