Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fort Vengeance 2

            Samarth is now online

            Mukta's heart leaped. She waited for this notification all day. She knew it by now that Samarth came online only at night, yet she kept checking the site just to make sure she didn't miss his appearance any other time. It had been just a week since she had joined this site and it was crazy how addicted she had become to it.
            "Hi.." she typed in anticipation.
             There was no reply. Mukta paced about in room, wondering why he took so much time. Wasn't he interested in chatting with her? He was the only male friend she had in campus.

             "Sorry Mukta, I am a little busy. There are a few complaints I am looking into." he typed some time later.

              Campusdiaries was a site that Samarth had opened. It served an all around purpose of networking, chatting, complaints and confessions. Students had taken to it very quickly and its popularity spread like wildfire. Samarth had a huge following. A lot of people confided in him. Mukta felt insecure sometimes. Maybe he had too many female friends as well.Annoyed, she reached to shut down the laptop. Just in time the chat box flashed. Samarth began chatting with her. Late into the night, huddled under the blankets, she smiled at the screen, typing away her emotions.

             Sharad took large strides tpwards the girls hostel. Mukta had been fast asleep when he had called her. But the news he had couldn't wait. He dug his fist into the pockets of his jacket, taking a deep breath as he reached the gate. He saw Mukta heading towards him. She rubbed her hands together to keep the cold off. Sharad noticed dark circles around her eyes. Something about Mukta had changed. She was staying up late at night, she seemed obsessed with staying in her room, she interacted little with anyone else and most importantly, she seemed to need less of Sharad. He didn't want to bug her with questions but it bothered him that Mukta was keeping something from him.

            "Dada, so early in the morning! It is so cold here!" Mukta shivered as she spoke.
             It always melted his heart away, the way his sister acted like a small baby.

             "Mukta,  Dinkar Kaka had called. Baba is planning to come tomorrow to Raiji."
             "But why? The elections are a month away!" Mukta questioned.
             "Kaka said it was something confidential. He called us keep us informed. Baba had no plans to let us know about his arrival."
              "Dada do you think it has anything to do with us?" Mukta asked, worried.
              "If that was the case, Dinkar Kaka would have told. He has been protecting us from Baba's ire for years. I believe it is something to do with his personal gains. Anyway, you keep a watch. Don't get into any trouble."
               She saw him walking away, her only confidante and friend in all those years. He was not just her elder brother, he was her whole family. She felt guilty for keeping him out of her secret. She wasn't sure if he would appreciate what Samarth was doing. For now, she had to keep it to herself.

               Dinkar sat uneasily in the backseat with his boss. It was not unusual for him to travel with his boss everywhere. For years he had been the right hand man for Patil. He did as he was asked. Although it wouldn't true if he said he never held a gun, the last couple of decades had made him abhor violence. It was his gut feel that this trip to Raiji would indeed be a blood war.
              It was, of course, unrealistic to hope for a nonviolent life, being with Patil 24x7. Patil yielded the gun to rule. Patil used force to conquer everything he desired. Patil fed fear in the minds of those he loved. He hoped to gain everything from terror. It was indeed a rare feat that Dinkar had achieved, to have never been shouted or yelled at by Patil. Everyone felt that Dinkar had a calming effect on Patil and it was because of this fact, everyone tried to reach to Patil through Dinkar. Only Dinkar knew the truth. Patil owed him his life. It was this very reason that made Patil keep Dinkar close. If anyone could be remotely called as a friend to Patil, it was Dinkar. For Patil never made friends.

              The playground was full of children, shouting, laughing, running. The  younger ones played in the small garden adjacent to the ground, waiting for rounds on the swing, sliding down the lone slide. She made it a point to sprinkle some water in the garden, making sure that the dust was settled as the kids played. The older ones usually played football or cricket. She always kept an eye on them for someone was always scrapping a knee or getting an arm twisted. She rested on the arm chair and rocked herself.
              "Mother, Patil is coming."
              A slow smile came to her. The moment had arrived. The Fort shall seek its Vengeance.

To be continued