Tag Archives: New York

Retribution – A Short Story

murder mystery

 

By Ganesh Subramanian

It was a bright morning in New York. Ritesh woke up to the sound of chirping birds beside his window. He rubbed his eyes for his vision to clear. He looked at the Christiano Ronaldo poster that adorned one of the walls of the living room. The poster showed Ronaldo ready to take a free kick. Ritesh was reminded of the premier league match that he planned to watch that night that featured Christiano Ronaldo. Almost as if stirred by memory, his eyes moved to the calendar which was hanging from one of the walls. The date 11th of December was circled in bright red colour. Ritesh smiled at the irony that the date was circled in red and not in any other colour. Today was the 11th of December. The circled date reminded him of the most important task that he wanted to accomplish that day, an accomplishment that would banish the demons of humiliation, embarrassment and pain, an accomplishment that would exorcise the ghosts of the past once and forever. This was something important that he has to finish at any cost. The premier league match can wait.

After a quick shower, he reached his office. After checking his mails and mailing his daily updates to his boss, Ritesh was waiting for a call which he was expecting that day of all days.  The next minute, his mobile screen flashed the name of Vimmy Veronika. Ritesh answered the call.

“Happy Birthday, my cutie teddy”, said the female voice at the other end.

“Thanks. Surprising to see that you have come to office on time”, mocked Ritesh.

“Only for you, dear”, answered Veronika. “Ok Listen. Come over for dinner tonight at my place”, said Veronika.

This was what Ritesh wanted to hear. But still he played with Veronika. “I have lots of work. Need to prepare that presentation for the board meeting this Friday”, said Ritesh.

“Oh, Come on. If you spend a couple of hours over dinner at my place, your board won’t sack you”, Veronika said.

“Alright. I will be there at 9.” replied Ritesh.

“Now that’s my boy. See ya” said Veronika.

Ritesh winded up the day’s work by 8 pm and when his SUV landed in Veronika’s Eastbrook apartments, it was 8.45 pm.

Ritesh and Veronika were from India, but now working in the US. Veronika was born to a Hindu father and a Christian mother, hence the name has a combination of Hindu and Christian names (Vimmy, short for Vimala, a Hindu name and Veronika for her Christian roots). Having got to know each other through a common friend, Ritesh and Veronika loved each other as if there is no tomorrow. Veronika told Ritesh that she will make her dad announce him as her life partner during her birthday party. Ritesh bought an apartment with his year-long savings to present it to Veronika. On the birthday party, Vimmy’s dad announced her engagement to Deepak John, an Indo-American businessman. Ritesh was heartbroken. The worst part was Veronika seemed to be happy with her dad’s decision. She told Ritesh that Deepak was well-settled and she could not disappoint her father. This sudden change in Veronika baffled him. Through some of his sources, Ritesh came to know that Deepak and Veronika had been pals in college and they had a very intense relationship and before they knew it, Veronika was pregnant. So this marriage is a quick heal solution before things could go out of hand. Ritesh’s blood boiled on hearing this. “How could she do this to me?”, he wondered. Although they both had kept in touch occasionally through the phone after this incident, things were never the same again between them.

Veronika welcomed Ritesh. After a sumptuous dinner, they settled on the couch and were having a few drinks. Veronika got up to bring another bottle. Ritesh got up and followed her. When Veronika pulled out the bottle from the fridge and turned back, Ritesh was standing close to her. He flashed a romantic smile. He moved close to her and put an arm on her waist. He brought his face close to hers. Past memories came flooding back to Veronika. She couldn’t resist. Anticipating a kiss from Ritesh, she closed her eyes. This was the opportune moment he was waiting for. He brought out a kitchen knife, its steel finish glistening in the dimly lit CFL lamp. In a swift motion, he plunged the knife into Veronika’s midsection. Veronika froze in horror and pain. The bottle dropped from her hands. Before she could scream, Ritesh’s left hand closed her mouth. He pulled out the knife and drove it harder into her abdomen again. Ritesh came close and whispered into Veronika’s ear – “You shouldn’t have done this to me, you lecherous bitch!”. Saying so, he pushed Veronika. She dropped dead on the floor.

One more task to be accomplished. Ritesh started his SUV and headed towards Maxington Lane. He reached Silver Oak apartments in Maxington lane and headed to Door # 145 in the 3rd floor. Jeevitha, a Tamilian from the southern part of TamilNadu, the occupant of #145, opened the door.

“Yes. How may I help you?” said Jeevitha.

“I am Ritesh. I am the brother of Mukesh, your reportee. I want to talk to you” replied Ritesh.

“Come in.” said Jeevitha.

“I know why you are here. To say that your brother is innocent. But the records seem to tell a different story. The 10 lakhs that disappeared was his responsibility. There were no expenses of that magnitude that day. Only way the money could have disappeared is when Mukesh himself had taken it. Better he admit his crime, so that atleast his punishment would come down” replied Jeevitha.

“Mukesh is not like that. He is innocent. He is being fabricated in this case for some moron’s crime. Do not go by what you hear. Listen to your heart. Save him from this mess”, pleaded Ritesh.

“I am sorry. I can’t do anything. Your brother has to face the consequences”, Jeevitha said firmly.

“Will you help him or not?”, Ritesh said in a menacing tone.

“No. If you don’t leave now, I’ll call the cops”. Saying so, Jeevitha moved towards the telephone.

Ritesh was fast. He pulled Jeevitha back and twisted her right arm behind her back.

” I am asking you one last time. Your statement against my brother tomorrow will finish his career. After that, Mukesh will not be alive. Think again.” said Ritesh.

Jeevitha didn’t listen to him. She extricated herself from Ritesh’s grasp and ran to the window to shout and alert the apartment’s security. Ritesh was equally quick. In one motion, he twisted Jeevitha’s left arm behind her back and put his right arm around her neck. Then he brought out the kitchen knife and slit her throat in a smooth motion. Jeevitha’s crumpled form fell to the floor.

Satisfied with his accomplishments, Ritesh left house no. 145 with the occupant lying in a pool of blood.

 

 

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Tagore, the Painter

Most of us knows about Tagore, the poet, the novelist, the song writer. But did you know that this Nobel Laureate was also a painter! Sampurna Majumder acquaints us with Tagore, the painter. 

tagore-s-painting-of-queer-animal-on-two-limbs

We all are aware of the great literary figure Rabindranath Tagore. Yes, he was the first Indian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and his composed verse ‘Jana Gana Mana’ was adopted as the country’s national anthem.

Though known to the world as renowned poet, versatility was his middle name. He was a poet, novelist, playwright, philosopher, social reformer, musician and also an artist. Egged by an insatiable urge for creativity, Tagore took up the brush when he was around 65. In his own words, “Now in the evening of my life, my mind is filled with forms and colours.” He often perceived this passion as an affair in the evening of his life.

Tagore delved into this passion in 1926 and such a prolific painter he turned out to be, that within four years he held nine painting exhibition across Europe, and also in Boston and New York.

tagore's paintingWhat sets him apart as a painter is the sheer forms within vast canvases of formlessness. His paintings transcend all known canons of art and some of his early compositions comprise doodles of thoughts. Some of these tend to resemble birds, faces and sometimes monsters.

In his subsequent compositions, human figures usually vertically positioned can be spotted. The main focus happened to be human faces upholding various facial expressions such as anger, disgust, laughter and so on. In his series titled ‘Heads’ female figures appear more often.

Pen-and-ink constituted many of his works. Some of best paintings are but doodles in pen-and-ink exhibiting his mastery over pen and ink.

Tagores-ArtTagore later shifted focus to landscape and colours became an important constituent of them. Silhouetted trees placed against the bright sky and absence of human figures became some of the major highlights of landscape paintings. Reddish, yellowish and brownish hues are prominent and the absence of human figures adds an element of mysteriousness to the paintings. He never made preparatory sketches; the images simply flowed through on canvas or paper.

The total oeuvre of 3000 paintings, composed between 1926 and 1940 trace the extraordinary talent of the genius Rabindranath Tagore.