[if this is the first time you have landed here, I strongly recommend, you check this out first]
Akash adjusted his tie until it was dead center and looked in perfect shape. He smiled at himself in the mirror. 30 years, and he still looked the part. He always believed that keeping fit should be as important as keeping rich. He sure was fit, and soon he was going to be rich too, or to be more accurate richer.
As Akash walked out of his bedroom into the living room, he mused how far he had come. It seemed only yesterday when he was guitar strumming, long-haired boy who used to spend more time in the gardens of the campus than the classes. Success just came easily to him, right through his stint in IIT and IIM, to the time when he finally decided to open his new company; he always had the Midas touch. He picked up his car keys from the mahogany center table and glanced at the clock right above his house’s exit. It was quarter past 11, he still had 2 hours to make his appointment.
Akash lived on the 6th floor, but used the stairs more often than not. As he whistled his way down, he motioned to the guard positioned outside his flat, to meet him outside the building. The happy-go-lucky constable nodded in agreement, smiling widely and then giving a thumbs up to his Italian suit.
The security was a recent development. He had been called a day before, and at that time the news had scared him. The C.B.I had called at around o’clock in the night, and the news that they had wasn’t really nice either. They had reasons to believe that someone might try to hurt him (read kill), and they needed to secure his residence as soon as possible. It wasn’t a request either, the CBI announced that they would be there in another 1 hour. They were early and Akash had barely had the time to convince his girlfriend to leave at 3 in the night.
Rest of the night was spent in ‘secure CBI location’ while the team thoroughly went over his place and the entire building. He was pretty convinced that it was a smoke screen to check his house out for black money. He was still unsure what CBI had in mind when they said he could go back to his house, but under 24X7 police supervision. He was also asked to block his calendar for the next week, something about someone from NIA coming to question him. He had been meaning to google that, but he never came around to it. He was lucky he was able to cram this appointment in before the investigator arrived today.
CBI were thorough, he would give them that. When he came back to his home, he found things which he had considered lost forever just lying on the floor. They had given him a security guard who was to accompany him on his business trip, and they had a GPS put onto his car just in case. They also had a small team deployed at the hotel where he was supposed to have his meeting, and they had planned for him to stay in the same hotel once his meeting was done.
He reached the parking area and beeped his car open. It surprised the old man who was cleaning his car and Akash immediately apologized for that. The old man mumbled something and moved to the next car. Akash still thought that this constant vigilante was because CBI doubted his tax returns, and was sure that NIA guy would be just trying to get some money trails out of him. But that won’t happen, Akash may have cut the corners sometimes, but he always kept his books as clean and orderly as possible. The only problem this would cause Akash is that he won’t be able to meet his girlfriend for a few days, while the CBI kept watch. Akash didn’t like having someone to watch over him all the time, but he did enjoy the pride of having a government-funded security.
He entered the Honda CRV, and turned on the ignition, musing whether he should get his house debugged just in case CBI decided to pop a camera somewhere. A negative reaction from the car, brought him back into the real world. He tried again with the same result. Akash cursed under his breath, and tried to open the door. It didn’t budge. He tried again, nothing. He heard a little whiz coming from the AC vent; that’s not right he hadn’t turned the AC on. He released the seat belt and tried the passenger door, same result. He could feel his mouth drying, he tried the beeper on his keys, but they were not responding. Akash was panicking now, he tried the buttons to roll down the window. They didn’t work either. The whizz from the AC continued. He felt a pull in his throat and choked a bit.
Akash whipped out his cellphone. But he was in the basement and there was no signal. Desperate he started banging on the windows, tryint to gain the attention of the old man outside, but he simply moved on to the next car in the row. Akash was feeling dizzy now, it was something to do with the AC vent, he was sure of it. He wrapped his handkerchief around his face, and then covered his elbow with coat and started attacking the windshield.
One. Two Three. Finally the windshield gave way bit, a crack was forming in the mirror. Akash was getting weak though, he wasn’t able to focus, and felt sleepy and tired. It was becoming difficult to breathe. He slided his seat back and tried to stamp out the windshield with his feet. The crack was widening, just not enough to let the gas out. Just a little more.
From the outside it seemed as a fog was filling up the car. The old man watched for a while as he saw two feet crashing against the windshield and then slowly die out. He waited a bit longer. 14 minutes, that all it took. He used the beeper inside his pocket to open the door, and then slide the window. He let the carbon-monoxide vent out for a few more minutes before he approached the body. Akash’s face was covered, but the skin on his hand had turned a bright-cherry-red. Parshuram took out the visiting card from his back pocket and placed it in Akash’s breast pocket.
There was a name and a poem on that card. Both of which Parsuram had memorized long before.
One by one they will fall.
Kings and soldier standing tall.
There will be death, there will be blood.
From their perch into the mud.
Follow me, that’s all you can do.
Try if you will, but he will die too.