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Rahul Banerjee

Tragedy


4  

Rahul Banerjee

Tragedy


Vengeance

Vengeance

19 mins 26 19 mins 26

Just imagine how anyone would feel if he/she is bullied, harassed, mocked, or even insulted by the society. Just because that individual is not able to express himself at the right moment doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have feelings. Well, everyone wants to be popular and accepted socially by others and experience the sense of being wanted. On the contrary, if any individual is not respected for what he is or his beliefs and ideologies, then perhaps the society needs to do self- introspection on its actions and perhaps needs to re-invent itself.


My following story is based on the theme of how an individual is rejected and insulted by the very people he looks up to; and how he after some time takes his revenge on the very same people who rejected him. In this story, you will also see how this individual faces a lot of challenges to attain his objectives; which was revenge!


All the characters, places are imaginary and any mistakes solely belong to the author alone. I hope you like this story. So here it goes.


Varun, Ankur, Rishi, Tarun, and Shreya were five fast friends since childhood. All of them had attended the same prep-school, school and were in the same class till the time they did their senior high.


They were called the ‘Famous Five’ of the school because everything they did and everywhere they went, they did it as a group. Many a time it happened that whenever one of them was in some kind of trouble i.e. school, parental, fellow students, etc.; the others rallied behind their friend as one entity.

This friendship and bonding continued even when they went to the same college but in different streams of education. During breaks all of them used to hang out together, go to clubs, market, movies, birthdays etc. However, there was one more child in that same class who wanted to be a part of the ‘Famous Five’ gang and he always waited for opportunities to talk to them and be friends with them. Unfortunately, the gang never took any notice of him and often mocked him and made fun of him. Even when the very same boy joined the same college as the gang and again wanted to interact with them and come close to them, they again rejected him and ridiculed him in front of everyone almost too often. Little did they realize that their constant shunning and rejection would make this young man very angry, and turn his admiration for them into pure hatred and result in something that would ultimately prove tragic and dangerous for them.


It was Tarun’s birthday and the rest of the gang had collected at their favorite clubs for celebrating his birthday. Only Tarun was missing as he was still in the office doing some important work as per the last call made to him. Though he promised to be there as soon as he can. Meanwhile, Tarun was working in the office and was, as usual, the last to leave. The office peon on his last rounds of the day looked up and saw Tarun still working so late and asked him “Sir, why are you still here?” “It’s your birthday and you should be partying” Tarun looked up from the keyboard and smiled and then went back to his work. A couple of hours later, Tarun looked at his watch and was apprehensive what would his friends say, as it was almost 11:30 p.m. But he was glad that he had finished work and then he saw his phone which was on silent mode. It had around 15 missed calls from his friends who were getting very angry with him. He quickly got up and closed the door of his cabin and went out. At the same Ankur and Rishi were so angry at Tarun that they decided to go to his office and drag him here from the scruff of his neck. Even Shreya said that “this time he is going to get a good thrashing from all of us” Anyways, they decided since they had waited so long for him. Tarun, on the other hand, had parked his car on the road as there was no space in the small parking lot. As he went outside it was already almost midnight, he nervously clicked his tongue and hurried towards his car. Little did he realize that someone had been watching him almost the whole day and was following his every step.


Oblivious to this Tarun had unlocked the car and had just sat down on the driving seat. As he closed the driver’s door and was about to switch on the ignition, someone from behind put an airtight plastic bag over his head and started pulling him backward. At first, Tarun was surprised and too shocked to react and didn’t realize what had just happened. A few seconds later, when he sensed that his life was in danger, he started resisting with all his might, but the attacker just kept on pulling the plastic hood over his head tighter and tighter. As time passed Tarun’s strength began to fade as the supply of oxygen was cut off and it was a matter of few minutes when Tarun felt darkness enveloping. It was darkness from which he would never be able to come out of as he was dead already. Maybe 10 minutes had passed in the whole situation but the killer still waited for a couple of minutes to ensure that Tarun was truly dead. When he saw that Tarun was not breathing anymore, he calmly got out of the back seat, and humming a soft tune to himself walked away. It was again surprised that not a single soul was present during the whole time.


Meanwhile, it was just 5 minutes to midnight and still, there was no sign of Tarun. Shreya called him for the last time as she was having great difficulty in controlling the rising temper of his friends. All of them were very angry and wanted to go to his house to give him a piece of their minds for standing down his friends. Somehow, Shreya managed to convince them that it is very late now and we will go tomorrow at his place and talk to him.

However, they were in for a surprise when Shreya got a call from the police informing her of the tragic demise of Tarun. At first, she did not believe the officer calling her but when he repeated the same information and said: “Ma’am, I have got your number from his phone only.” It only then does she realizes that something terrible had happened. With trembling hands and voice she called the rest of the friends and informed them of this tragedy. The rest of the friends were stunned and shocked to hear this and all of them trooped to the place where the police had called them for confirming the identity. As they approached the place Shreya started crying and the rest of them also were deeply hurt knowing that now one member of the Famous Five gang is no more with them. It was a terrible thought and feeling for them as they made their way towards the officer in charge of the scene.


Now the officer in charge, Inspector Ranveer Singh was a man of contrasts. On one hand, he was deeply spiritual and philosophical; while on the other, there was not a case which he had not successfully investigated and solved. Added to it were his anecdotal pieces of humor which he often used to dole out to his junior officers. The police had come to know of this incident when some of the passers-by had seen the car standing idly and the driver just sitting on the driver's side. It was late in the morning when neither the car nor the driver had shown any signs of movement, it was then that people became suspicious and called the police. Anyways, the police had arranged the body to be taken for an autopsy; though, the initial assumption was death by asphyxiation. This was a surprise to all the friends as to how was this possible.


The autopsy report confirmed the suspicion that it was a case of death due to asphyxiation. Though Tarun’s friends were not willing to believe that. As they believed that Tarun would have done something to help himself or could have asked for help from someone. The police were of a different opinion as there was no sign of any foul play detected at the scene.


Anyways, the four friends struggled to cope with the loss and life moved on in the outside world. Three days later, something happened which jolted the friends out of their reverie and made them realize that something was really dangerous was happening with them. It was raining heavily that day, and Rishi was at his home reminiscing about the old days with a drink in his hand. His house was really large and his study was on the upper floor, where he was sitting right now. Suddenly he heard a ring on his front door. Rishi thought who could it be at such an hour. So he went down and checked. However, he did not find anyone so he closed the door and went back upstairs. After maybe five minutes, the doorbell again rang, and again Rishi went downstairs. This time also there was no one; Rishi now got furious and stepped outside to have a better look, but could not find anyone in this torrential downpour. In the process, he got drenched completely. Cursing the mystery caller, he again went upstairs to dry himself. Little did he realize that while he had stepped outside, the killer had surreptitiously entered into his house and hid.


When the third time the doorbell rang, Rishi got so enraged that he forgot that he had the towel draped around his head and was storming towards the stairway that led to the door. It was then that the killer gave a push from behind Rishi’s back and he went tumbling down the stairs and landing on the ground dead with his neck broken. The killer just looked at the body lying on the ground and started to whistle the same tune and confidently walked out of the house into the rain.


Meanwhile, Ankur wanted to discuss something with Rishi so he gave him a call. When Rishi didn’t pick up on the first time, Ankur thought maybe he was busy. After some time he again called Rishi and he again got no response. This continued for the next fifteen-twenty minutes or so. Now Ankur got a little bit worried and decided to visit Rishi’s place. All the time he was driving down to Rishi’s place, there was an uncanny feeling nagging at the back of his head. That why was Rishi not picking up the phone? Whether everything was all right with him or not?

Ankur’s suspicions proved to be correct when he found that the door to Rishi’s place was open. With apprehension and rising panic, he tiptoed across the hall where he found Rishi lying down at the foot of the stairway with his neck broken. On seeing this sight Ankur was aghast; he immediately rushed and tried to shake Rishi, but to no avail. He then called the police and all the rest of the friends. Varun and Shreya rushed to Rishi’s place on hearing this. There they found Ankur being questioned by Inspector Ranveer Singh. Both of them were too stunned and shocked at the thought of losing two of their best friends in one week; and that too, within a spate of a few days. This time Varun and Shreya wanted some answers from Inspector Ranveer Singh as to how could this be a coincidence. Varun even asked, “Tell us, Inspector, how both of them can be victims of accidents?” The Inspector looked at them and said: “Rishi was drinking heavily as could be determined from the smell coming from his clothes and second he could have slipped and fallen as the stairs were too slippery.”


This was too simple an observation and the three remaining friends did not believe a single word of it. Here also, the autopsy confirmed that there was an unusual amount of liquor found in Rishi’s body. Though the officer had somehow managed to convince the remaining friends, he was having doubts now.

Meanwhile, the remaining three friends were devastated and in complete shock. All of them were thinking that how this could have happened. It was only last week that all five of them had returned from a trip to Goa. All of them were so happy and life was so good. Varun had a suspicion which he broadly discussed with is tow friends. He said that “since all of us were fairly successful and famous in society, could it be that someone is deliberately picking us off one by one?” Ankur and Shreya looked dumbfounded at Varun. They were at a loss of words. When Ankur suddenly said, “why would anyone target us?” “Most importantly, why now all of a sudden?” Varun just looked blankly at him.


While they were having this conversation, the killer was sitting just two tables behind them and quietly observing them. Ankur this time was the hardest hit as he was very close to Rishi, like a brother. He just could not imagine a life without his best buddy. He even disclosed a hitherto unknown secret to Varun and Shreya that Rishi had once saved Ankur’s reputation. When both of them asked how and when. Then Ankur told them of a secret which he and Rishi had kept from the rest of the group. Ankur had once been caught using drugs in the college days, and it was Rishi who had come to his rescue by hiding the stash of drugs and taking the blame on himself. Hearing this both Varun and Shreya feel more grief and sorrow for their friends.


You know, time is the biggest healing factor. It’s been a month now and life is slowly but painfully returning to normal for Ankur, Varun, and Shreya. It is when lady Luck again decides to strike. Ankur was at his home when he receives a call from his business associates that he is needed at the sight immediately. So Ankur with utter reluctance decides to go to the site as he had to because his business required him to be on site very often.

So when he steps out of his residence and drives down the highway, little does he realize that he is being followed by the killer from a safe distance. While Ankur is oblivious to this and is driving at breakneck speed as there was an emergency when he realizes that the brakes of his car are not working at all. This was surprising to Ankur as he had got his car maintained the only couple of weeks before. Anyways, the more he presses on the brakes, the more it refuses to co-operate. Now Ankur is getting nervous as he cannot afford to slow down because some vehicles might rear-end him as they were all moving at high speeds. When suddenly, the vehicle ahead of Ankur jerks to a halt; and in the process of avoiding him Ankur swerves violently, but cannot control the spin and it fishtails onto the other lane. In this lane also the oncoming traffic was at a very speed and one of the oncoming trucks collides with an already upturned vehicle and it catches fire, killing Ankur on the spot.


Shreya had just taken a break from a long and difficult surgery when she receives the call from Inspector Ranveer Singh informing her of the tragic demise of Ankur. Now Shreya is completely broken and shattered, somehow regaining composure she calls Varun, who was working on an article. Hearing about the terrible accident both of them rush to the spot and demand answers from the police. This time, however hard Ranveer Singh tries to convince them that it was an accident, and there were a lot of witnesses to that. Still, Shreya and Varun are not ready to accept this and Shreya says that “ Inspector, don’t you think that it’s a bit odd that three of our friends die within a month, and their deaths are made to look like accidents?” She also says that “Ankur was very careful about his driving and maintenance of his car”. Inspector Ranveer just looks on and this time it starts to seem odd to him also about this whole affair.


A few days later, it is found out that the brakes of Ankur’s car were dysfunctional and this led to a terrible accident. However, Ranveer Singh is reminded of Shreya’s words that Ankur was very careful with his driving and the maintenance of his car. So he gets the latest car insurance and maintenance reports which prove that Ankur had got his car checked just two weeks before the accident. This time the media also starts taking notice of this case: as all of them were well known in the society, and this weird sequence of freak accidental deaths start them questioning police procedures. As a result, the top brass of the police also starts putting pressure on Ranveer Singh to get results.


Ranveer Singh now starts digging into the five friend’s past, their school and college education n, their lifestyles, whether they had any enemies or rivals in their professions etc. Meanwhile, he offers to keep an eye on both Varun and Shreya, but both of them reject it flat out. Varun and Shreya blast at the inspector for not doing his duty properly the first time, if he had done his duty, then this would not have happened. Ranveer Singh doesn’t get offended, he just looks at them and smiles and says “ I have offered you police protection in case of anything untoward happening to either one of you” Hearing this, both of them get more enraged and ask the inspector to leave them alone.


A couple of days later Varun while planning to investigate this whole series of accidents gets a call from an unknown number. The caller just says” I am so sorry to hear about your loss” Next, he gives a burst of weird laughter and asks “How does it feel to lose someone you love?” When Varun asks “who are you?” The killer doesn’t respond but sends him a picture of a small boy in school looking at them with awe. When Varun sees the picture, he is mystified and there is something strange in the picture. As this picture of the five friends was taken when they were in school and had gone out on a school camping trip. The image of the boy standing a few feet away from them triggers a memory inside Varun; but somehow, he could not place it at the moment. This also makes him dig into his old collection of things where he had stored all the yesteryear memories in the form of things and pictures. Here, after a lot of digging, he finds a picture of that very same young boy. He also finds a name written on the back of the old, torn photograph. So he decides to investigate what happened to this young boy.


Meanwhile, the police are clueless about the strange course of events, and this infuriates Ranveer Singh. He tries to call Varun and Shreya but neither of them is willing to talk to him. While Varun, investigation takes him back down the memory lane and he is successful in finding the identity of the boy. While Varun was busy digging into the identity of the mysterious boy, he didn’t realize that he was being tracked at every stage.


Finally, Varun is successful in finding the identity of the boy and this starts him thinking whether the mystery caller is the same boy or not? While ruminating on this he makes a startling discovery that unnerves him completely. He decides to call Shreya. When Shreya picks up the phone, Varun just says “that something important has come up, I am sending you an email and meet me tonight in the club” With that he hangs up the phone, not realizing that the killer was right behind him.

The next day Shreya gets a call from Ranveer Singh that Varun was found hanging from the ceiling of his house. There was also a suicide note saying that all five of the friends were responsible for this tragedy. This time Inspector Ranveer Singh is on the aggressive mode and demands an explanation to this cryptic note. Shreya while still reeling from this tragedy is taken aback from this sudden change of tone by the inspector. She says “that I don’t have any clue as to this note and what was Varun trying to say” In the evening, completely all alone, and grieving Shreya decides to open her mailbox and check Varun’s last email. Here she finds the very same images of the mysterious young boy and also finds his name. Furthermore, she also finds that Varun had written about the mysterious phone call and the conversation with the killer. Lastly, she discovers the name of the killer, which was Neeraj. Shreya is surprised at Varun’s analysis that Neeraj is the killer and he has been taking revenge on all of them for ignoring him and rejecting from joining their group. She is a little uncertain about this and blurts out his name loudly.


Meanwhile, all this time the killer had been standing behind her calmly and repeats in a soft voice “Yes Neeraj” She whirls around automatically with fear and panic gripping her. She confronts a tall, handsome man in front of her. She again blurts out “Neeraj I am sorry for all of this” Neeraj, however, is oblivious to her apologetic tone and starts in a monologue about his insults, harassment, and grief. He says that “do you have any idea how it feels to be rejected, not once, but all the time?” He also says that “ this continued in college too” “ I felt so humiliated and hurt that at that very moment I vowed to have my vengeance” All this time Shreya had somehow managed to dial Ranveer Singh’s number and he had overheard all of the conversations. So he was rushing towards Shreya’s house knowing that her life is in danger. Neeraj, on the other hand, was unaware of this development and he continued to rant and inch closer towards Shreya, who was trying to move away from him. He said that “I have planned my whole life for this moment” In a moment of megalomania, he starts laughing and discloses that how he carried out each of the murders. Shreya was just dumbfounded and too scared to say anything. Neeraj says that how he choked Tarun’s life out of him, how he pushed Rishi off the stairs after he had greased the stairs with oil. He also said that he had tampered with Ankur’s breaks and forced to Varun to hang the noose around his neck and jump off the table. By this time Shreya was completely scared and was silently hoping for Inspector Ranveer Singh to arrive sooner.


Realizing that Shreya was stalling for time, Neeraj lunges at her with a butcher’s knife. At the same instant, Inspector Ranveer Singh shoots Neeraj from the door and he falls lifeless to the ground. Shreya is completely broken and she falls crying loudly at Neeraj’s lifeless body. Inspector Ranveer Singh tries to console her and in between sobs Shreya says that “I am sorry for all of this on behalf of my friends”, and she folds her towards Neeraj and says “I am truly very sorry what happened with you”

Later on, the police team comes in and takes Neeraj’s body away, leaving Shreya to think about her life and those of her friends’ lives.


Inspector Ranveer Singh while parting only says that “ This should give everyone a lesson about not treating anyone with respect, or not considering anybody equal” He further says “ if you ever need a friend again, I will be there for you” With that he parts his ways.


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