11, Sky Heights : Chapter 11

“Did you and your daughter Nisha have an argument during her birthday party,  Mr.Narang?” Senior Inspector Shrikant Joshi was interrogating Mohandas. Upon taking statements from different people who were present at the party, the police knew that Nisha and her father had an argument on that day.

“Yes…” Mohandas said weakly.

“Why?” Joshi knew the reason behind their argument but he wanted to hear it from Mohandas’ mouth.

“I wanted ten lakh rupees but…”

“But?”

Mohandas kept mum, he was thinking about how to answer the ‘but’.

“But she refused to give the money to you?” Joshi completed the statement which Mohandas had started.

“Sir, it is true that we had an argument and I demanded money from her but I was drunk and I did not know what I was saying. But what is the relation between this and her death?”

“I am asking you the same thing. What is the relation between her death and your demand for ten lakh rupees?” said Joshi as he pressed the matter further.

Joshi was about to tell Mohandas that a few minutes before Nisha was pushed down from the balcony of her bedroom, Mohandas had threatened to kill her if she did not give her the money but before he could say so, and his cell phone rang. Inspector Shinde was calling him. He immediately answered the call. Joshi became alert when he was hearing what Shinde had to say from the other end of the phone – it was something important. The call lasted for a minute. When Joshi disconnected the call, he told Mohandas to leave as he said, “You can go now. I will call you for interrogation again when needed. Don’t go out of town.”

“But sir…” Mohandas wanted to say that what was the need to interrogate him but he stopped as Joshi gestured him to leave. Quietly, Mohandas went out of his cabin. He was sweating profusely.

***

Film actor Omar Hassan turned the shower on in his bathroom. As the warm water fell from the shower on his body, he started feeling better. His mind was clouded with many thoughts post Nisha’s death.  He closed his eyes and that day flashed in his mind. He remembered how everyone had rushed downstairs on hearing that Nisha’s body was lying in a pool of blood in the compound and how Mohini was trying to get Karan back into his senses. How he had ran to Nisha’s bedroom and took what he wanted but Mohini had seen him coming out of Nisha’s bedroom.

He opened his eyes – his heart was beating rapidly. He knew that the police was looking at each and everyone present at the party as suspects. He also knew that sooner or later, Mohini was going to tell the police about how she saw him coming out of Nisha’s bedroom.

As he turned the shower off, he couldn’t help but wonder that what if there was a way to turn off all the thoughts that were running his mind as well. All his meetings with Nisha in the past flashed in front of him as he was living them at the very moment.

He wiped his body with his towel and put on a bathrobe while stepping out of the bathroom. He lied down on his bed, staring blankly at the ceiling. After sometime, he got up and turned all the lights of the room off, except the table lamp next to his bed. He pressed the button of the remote and the long curtains of his room opened up to a view of the beautiful Arabian sea.

Omar looked at the sea for a while and then took out something from a drawer. It was a diary – Nisha’s diary. He had already read a few pages of the diary and the more he read, the faster was the pace of the thoughts in his mind.  He remembered the time when Nisha had told him about the diary.

***

Omar had met Nisha at a boring party of a producer who had won the Oscar last year. Both of them had come alone for the party and on seeing each other, they were relieved to have company. Nisha was not so famous back then as she was very new in the industry, so Omar had asked her some questions about her ambition in life.

“Nisha, what is your ambition? I mean I know that you are trying to make it big in the Hindi Film Industry but what exactly do you want?” Omar asked her casually, to know her better.

“Omar, whatever I do, I just want to be remembered. Ever since I grew up, I knew one thing that no matter what I did or what I became I wanted to live my life king size, such that after my death, people write books about me – a biography maybe!” Nisha answered with a sparkle in her eye.

“A biography? That’s interesting…but why don’t you start writing an autobiography then?”

“Hahahaha! I am letting you in on a secret – I write a diary every single day, since the age of fifteen. So that is my autobiography!” Nisha said cheerfully.

***

Omar remembered Nisha’s spirit to live life king size made it worth writing a book about her life. And as he read her diary, he delved deep into her past. As he was engrossed in reading her diary, his cell phone rang. He looked at the table clock; it was 2:30 a.m. in the night! Who was calling him so late, he wondered. When he answered the call and heard a few words from the person who had called him, his heart started pounding!

To be continued…

Read the previous chapters here: 11, Sky Heights Chapter 1-10

Aashu Patel
Aashu Patel

Aashu Patel is a writer, who has written on a variety of genres ranging from crime to inspirational. 40 books written by him are published. He has worked as an editor of many leading newspapers. He has written many novels. Well-known film director Tigmanshu Dhulia is making a Hindi film based on his English novel 'Madam X'.

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