Room no: 413 --- Part 2
Short Story by: Gagan
The night was tedious, and morning was getting ready to arrange its own fresh orchestra, Rajneesh understood that whatever they needed to do, that needed to do it fairly quickly. The task wasn’t simple; they had to take dead bodies out of the hotel in presence of the hotel staff without giving away them an inkling of what had happened? He dialed the number, which wasn’t answered in the first call; he dialed it again and again and then again. Finally the call got answered;
“Who is it”? Came a question is laid back early morning tone.
“This is Rajneesh, now listen to me very carefully and keep this to yourself. I want you and Lata at Aroma hotel in room no.413 right away. Once you reach here I will explain you everything and make sure that you both are dressed well. Also bring two big leather bags along with some extra clothes and when you reach here book one single room somewhere on the second floor, and also bring your Butcher’s Knife. Right, now hurry up” The call summed up the intension and the plan, greed had to redeem itself. The idea was to chop the soulless bodies into small piece and carry them away from the scene of crime to someplace unknown, before they will be dumped forever. He wanted Ali and his wife Lata to act like visitors so that there is no suspicion among the hotel staff, which is why he asked them to book a room on a different floor. His heart was beating fast and mind was working even faster, he knew they were running against time and circumstance, he was walking from one corner of the room to another, while composer looked relaxed in his rocking chair puffing up smoke and looking at the motionless, breathless body of his ex-wife, with hatred and disgust.
He knew that he had to involve the hotel staffin this plan, “Know the managers on the front desk works in two shifts, they might have met the supervisor who works in the morning shift, so we have to include him with us”. He was talking to the composer, who looked monk. After a meditative silence, he said, “Don’t worry we will reward his honesty”.
It was now 5 Am and the morning was getting younger, he looked restlessly at his cell phone, till he heard the knock on the door.
“Who is it”, question asked… “It’s me Ali”…question answered”. Door opened and two medium built figured in their mid 30’s walked in, they were nicely dressed with man wearing a cotton white shirt and blue trouser and women who appeared little thin in silk suit, though she was thin but she had attractive sharp features and in blue she was looking even more beautiful, Riaz seemed impressed with the women. Ali as instructed was carrying two big bags along with other things which Rajneesh has asked him to bring, without wasting anytime, Rajneesh narrated the entire situation along with his plan the two new entrants in the maze of lust, greed and madness looked stunned, all the time while Rajneesh was narrating the ‘love-story’ of the composer they both were looking at face of a murderer which appeared relaxed and proud.
Ali, who had his own small meat shop in the centre street of Mumbai, looked worried and tense with the intensions of the lawyer who was also his regular customer. He was a butcher himself but this was different.
“Ali, we will pay you 5 Lacks for your help and honesty”. For a butcher who barely managed to earn 4,000 a month this amount was tempting, this would have provided him an easy escape from the poverty that until now he thought was a part of his destiny. But his guts were not allowing him to be a part of that heinous crime for which there was no guilt.
“Sir, I am a butcher, slaughtering animals is what I specialize in, this is different, I promise I will never open my mouth but I cannot do this”. He had made up his mind the money was good but risk was even higher, also a common man working on an ordinary wages had something which those elite, established and celebrated gentlemen present in that room had lost. His answer was no, Rajneesh tried hard to talk him into his plan and even doubled the amount to 10 Lacks; he remained still on his decision.
“Listen Ali, we have to”…
“I will do it.” Before Rajneesh could finish his sentence, a voice from the corner of the room echoed loud. Lata who silently observing all the proceedings up till now spoke for the first time, and she spoke with some authority and command in her voice. “I will do it, you make the amount to 12 Lacks, and make sure that we will not be caught, I am ready to do this for you”. She spoke with supreme confidence, the lawyer was surprised, the husband was shocked and the composer was impressed.
“Are you out of your mind”… Ali shouted in an angry tone, he tried to impose his will on her but her determination to get that money was too strong for any kind of explanation. Finally, Ali had to give in to her will and even though he declared that he would not be participating in this barbarism, he decided to stay by her and watch the proceedings quietly.
“Good, Lata I will help you take these bodies inside the washroom, where you can close the door and can complete your work quickly”, said Rajneesh, who dragged the bodies with little help from Lata to the washroom, while his husband and composer watched the proceedings from the comfortable distance without any reaction or suggestion.
“Thank you Sahib, I will close the door and let you know when I am done”, she said to Rajneesh after he helped to carry those breathless bodies inside the washroom. Rajneesh acknowledged her with a smile and walked out of the washroom, as Lata was about to close the door to carry on with her task, Riaz spoke in an authoritative tone,
“Don’t close the door, keep it open, I want to you see at work and I want to you to do this in front of my eyes”. Rajneesh looked at him with surprise trying to communicate his concerns with silence and disgust but he didn’t bothered to look at him or her husband, he was consistently looking at the women who had impressed her first with her eyes and not with her heart. Lawyer realized that any kind of argument would further delay the proceedings, he asked Lata was she okay with the request and she silently nodded, ‘Yes’.
He silently walked out of the room, ‘Right I am going to the balcony once you are done, please let me know’, Rajneesh walked towards the glass door which heads straight to the small balcony which was attached to the room. “Sahib, I will also come with you”, spoke Ali as he joined Rajneesh.
Lata closed the door for couple of seconds and quickly changed her clothes after which she picked up the knife, and drew it closer to the body of composer’s wife. She took a deep breath and with optimal force strikes the first blow on the dead lady arm. The reaction on her face was intense but for rhythmic for creative musician who dragged his rocking chair near to the washroom door it was rhythmic; for him she was an artist who was painting her deadliest masterpiece. The sound of blade on the body, the color of blood and an image of a beautiful woman drenched in sweat and blood was seducing the composer to an ecstasy which he never imagined. Her eyes, her body, her barbarism, her aggression and her teasing smile with which she was glancing at him were making him desperate, desperate for lust, desperate for her, she knew what she was doing and she was doing it purposefully, her looks were enslaving him further into an imagery of passion and desire that was now taking over his heart and mind, for him she was like a goddess who was unveiling him the seductively haunting melodies which he constantly wanted but had never dreamed. While the lust ruled the surroundings inside the room, both Rajneesh and Ali stood silently on the terrace.
They were both staring at a big green dustbin across the street on which it was written in Big Bold Letters, “USE ME”.
“How do you know him”, asked ALI, who still was in a state of trance.
“He is my client”. Answered Rajneesh
“Are all your clients like this?”
“No! This is for the first and the last time I am doing something like this”. It was more of an assurance which he was giving to himself for an act which he had no explanation.
“Why are you doing this”, still no eye contact was made.
“For the same reason, you and your wife are doing”.
“But I thought you were rich”
“Can we please stop this conversation”? Rajneesh said it in an irritated tone and moved away.
“Very rich”, Ali uttered in a dim tone of voice and remained where he was.
Inside the room, Lata almost completed the task with an artistic elegance. She had finished the work of slaughtering and had tidily packed the parts of the bodies in the big leather bags, now only the cleanup of the wash room was needed. The composer who watched everything in awe, closed his eyes and leaned back on his rocking chair and surrendered himself to the images of the dark fantasies which took him on the journey of spirituality and blissfulness, he imagined himself making love to the women who had captivated him with her barbarism on the floor of the washroom which was covered with blood and scattered body parts. The naked bodies rolling over one another, burning with flaming intent, draped in blood and sweat, gave him the feeling of attainment, a kind of Nirvana for which Buddha had to mediate for six years. It was sick, mad, bizarre but intense and when he opened his eyes he saw Lata cleaning herself with a wet bath towel, she removed all the blood which was there on her hands and body and changed her clothes, and this time she didn’t closed the door.
After finishing the job, she informed Rajneesh and Ali about it, who were still standing outside in the balcony lost in there own absurd thoughts. Rajneesh came inside the room and checked everything, the room looked clean and tidy, room freshener was emptied to make sure that there was not even a single evidence of the crime left either on floor or in the air and he silently glanced at Lata admiring her for the perfection and speed with which she performed the work.
“Right, now I and Riaz will carry out of the bags while Ali you and Lata go back to your room which you have booked and check out of it in the evening”, “Once you leave this room come straight to my home and there you shall be rewarded with your dues, but make sure that don’t discuss this day with anyone”. The instructions were clear and all four of them went along with their assigned tasks, Riaz looked at Lata to communicate silently with his eyes but this time she ignored his look and left the room. This gesture baffled the composer but he remained calm and picked up the bag.
“Okay now we will drive in our own vehicles, there is this remote jungle area 45 Km from here, it is isolated and nobody goes there, we will dump the bodies there and we will be fine”. Rajneesh explained him the next step of action. He listened to him but didn’t react as he was still trying to understand the reasoning behind the absurd reaction of the women; he thought he was in love with. As per the plan, First Riaz went out with the bag which had the pieces of his wife and his lover and left for the destination that was told after 20 minutes Rajneesh left the hotel. Since it was early morning hours there were only 2-3 employees present on the reception floor and they had no suspicion about the act that had been carried out in Room No. 413. Riaz reached the area first but he waited for Rajneesh to join him, after 10 minutes Rajneesh reached there. They both checked the surrounding, the area was remote and they both were alone, without wasting anytime they disposed the body parts by assembling them together and burning them off with fire.
After dumping the dead, Riaz left for his home while Rajneesh returned back to the hotel enquiring about the manager who was present that day in the morning shift. Finally, Rajneesh talked him in and he as per the command of greed manipulated the entries in the hotel register and the computer database. Ali and Lata left the hotel in the evening and Rajneesh paid the couples the amount they were promised. Both murdered couples were orphans and there were few enquiries made by the relatives and the friends but they were not significant to inspire any detailed police investigation.
That wild night changed the fate of seven people who were involved in that madness. Two innocent couples lost their lives, the manager who was present in the morning shift and was involved in the conspiracy left his job and opened his own small take away in the reputed mall of the city, he was now earning double than what he was getting in that job. The lawyer, Rajneesh was promoted as a high court lawyer within a year, he became the role model for the inspiring lawyers who were starting their careers in this field, his achievement and his fame both grew big and strong with time. Ali, the butcher enjoyed the lavishness for first few months before he met a road accident, he was crushed by the truck and died on the spot; there were no eye-witnesses and the case of his death is still open in the court. The composer Riaz filled the case of the disappearance of his wife and came up with his best selling album “Life without you”, the album broke all the music records and is considered by the critics as his best work, he also won an acclaimed recognition from the India government for his contribution in the music, and was awarded with the country’s highest music honor, after few years of stay in India he to settle down in Ireland permanently with his new wife, Lata.
© Copyright 2017 Gagan. All rights reserved.