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Aaradhana Agarwal

Crime Thriller


Aaradhana Agarwal

Crime Thriller

When Past Meets Present

When Past Meets Present

8 mins 394 8 mins 394

Charu found it difficult to follow the old blueprints sent by Yuvaan. Where to begin from? She wanted to start with some definite clue. It was almost 1 am. She went to the terrace and even in that tranquil night she felt herself restless as if she was an entrapped fish struggling in the Chinese Fishing Net to come out of the mystery of her past life. She had heard about reincarnation stories, but she herself would be part of one of them was hard to digest for her. The ocean in darkness seemed to be a perfect example of the inside of her heart. There were multifarious waves of different thoughts coming to her mind and creating chaos. 

She had lost sound sleep since she had read the book. Her awakening of mind kept her engaged with solving the puzzle of her life. She couldn’t discuss with her father as he would never believe her. Granny was ill so she had none to understand her inner conflict. She was stuck between past and present. 

“What can lead me in the right direction? It can be the fake replica of the sword”, she murmured. 

To have a closer look of the sword she just needed to convince the Museum attendants. Her frequent visit to the place already had built some kind of bonding with the staff there. Further, her father was known to many of the people working there. Her efforts were rewarded. She was granted permission. She wore gloves and with a hidden camera placed on her shirt as a designer button she took pictures of the sword. She used a magnifying glass to find some evidence to be sure that the sword was local made and not the original ancient Egyptian origin one. 

A trend of imprinting name of the company on manufactured products helped Charu this time. She discovered a company’s logo just at the handle of the sword. It was so tiny that with naked eye hard to find. She clicked the picture and at home zoomed it. Oh my God! It was made in Fort Kochi only. She googled the logo and gathered information. Next action was to visit the shop to enquire who had bought the duplicate sword from there. She didn’t wish to inform Yuvaan as he had already helped her so much. She was ready with a cooked story, genuine dialogues, facial expression, and body language and practiced a lot in front of mirror.

Next morning, in the shop with the picture she requested the shop owner to make exact replica of the same Egyptian Sword to gift it to her friend. The shopkeeper delightedly asked what speciality was in the sword that within a week she was the second customer. Charu acted smartly and smilingly said, “Oh, is it so? Who has bought that replica? I thought only I have interest in antique Egyptian artifacts. Can you tell me anything about the person?”

The shopkeeper found nothing wrong in sharing detail as he did never imagine that a crime of replacing the original with a fake one could be done by any of his customers. What he narrated left Charu awestricken as he was narrating physical appearance of Uncle Vincent. She asked again how he remembered the person so perfectly. The shopkeeper replied because that 85 years old man offered him the amount which was much more than he charged. Secondly, he was in urgent need of that and requested to create the replica within two days. Charu showed him picture of the uncle and he cried with excitement, “Yes! He was the gentleman. How do you know him? Is he your relative? Had he taken the sword to gift you?”

Charu replied, “Yes. He is my uncle and I have damaged the sword accidentally. So not to hurt him I need another one.” She further asked, “Do you remember if he said anything else?”

The shopkeeper thought a while, nodded his head with affirmation and answered, “He was discussing about his trip to Egypt with some friend. I overheard him.”

Charu couldn’t believe she was so lucky that a major mystery was going to be solved in such an unexpected way. She asked again, “Oh! Do you remember name of the person with whom he was sharing his journey detail?”

She had crossed her fingers and prayed so that he could give her some more clue.

He took some time and tried to search something on his bill pad. After few minutes he opened Uncle Vincent’s bill and showed it to her. “I‘m sure the name and contact number written here by that gentleman is of the person he was talking about. He asked me for a piece of paper and I unconsciously passed towards him the bill pad. He wrote the name and as I keep carbon below each bill so it is here.”

The name made Charu’s eyes wide opened. She clicked picture of the payment bill, thanked the shopkeeper and left the place. She dialled the number from a public telephone booth and was shocked to hear the voice. She immediately disconnected. How could this be possible? She instantly dialled Ruth’s number next to know if there’s any information about the Uncle. He responded in negative and invited her to the residence. She readily agreed as she needed to search uncle’s room to get some more evidence. 

Martha was not at home when Charu visited there. Perhaps, Ruth had deliberately sent her to their hometown as he couldn’t want to see her mother in mental anxiety. Charu asked for Ruth’s permission to stay in Uncle’s room to go through some of his old collection of books. He permitted and went to kitchen to prepare some snacks for her. In the room Charu quickly opened drawer of the Uncle’s study table and put inside her bag his diary. She then opened his wooden almirah and was startled to see a small door on the wall as if to hide that secret place the almirah was placed there. She called Ruth at top of her voice as he was in charge of the bungalow. He rushed in and they opened the door. 

What a sight! There was a long tunnel well lit and airy. They proceeded ahead. The tunnel led them to the museum. Oh no! What she thought about the uncle turned into a reality. Ruth was totally ignorant of that secret path. He was silent and confused. Charu could solve the missing parts of the mysterious history slowly. The Home on the map was the Museum where Vincent uncle stayed earlier and to protect the royal symbol the sword he replaced it with the fake one. 

So the uncle fled with the real sword. Why would he do this? It was his own property. There was something fishy in this entire story of his elopement to Egypt. She and Ruth returned to Uncle Vincent’s house and again began her search. This time Ruth was with her. She asked him if he saw Uncle to leave the house. He said as Uncle’s flight was of early hours so at night he had explained him about his travel plans and told him to take care of the house. Next morning, he left without informing Ruth. 

Charu noticed some dry stain inside the almirah wall. She turned back to ask Ruth about this and found him standing there with an iron rod to hit Charu. He was smiling cunningly and his intention was deadly. He with fire in his eyes said, “Since my childhood, I have seen how my mother served the family of Sheryl but she received nothing for her loyalty. The royal family fired her due to her old age. After much request Uncle Vincent appointed me as the caretaker of this house. I am replacing the real artefacts, paintings with the fake one and Uncle found the shop from where I get the duplicate items. He played a trick and saved the sword from me. He planned to keep it in Sheryl’s house in Egypt. He was about to reveal my reality to the police and the corporator of the city was assisting him in the conspiracy against me. Later, my mother told me all about your past life. I know you’re guided by divine angels to protect your property. I can’t make this to happen. I’ll send you to the same place where I have sent Uncle.” He lifted the rod and the moment he hit her, she closed the door of the tunnel and ran to the museum. 

The employees were on alert when Charu informed them about Ruth and the murder of Uncle Vincent. Ruth was arrested. The police recovered the sword from him and dead body of Uncle Vincent. Charu showed the police picture of the payment bill where Uncle had written the name and number of the Yuvaan’s father. He revealed that he was helping uncle to save his ancestral property from Ruth. They knew that Charu was an incarnation of Sheryl Verghese and sooner or later she would remember her past life. To help her they created various situations. However, it was Martha who ultimately made Charu realize she was a dead ringer for Sheryl.  

Charu left for New York after a week. She was extremely thrilled to meet people of her past life and soon penned her experiences. Her book on the theory of incarnation established her as a renowned author. To honour her previous life's royal identity she adopted Sheryl name and was known as Charu Sheryl.

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