Thursday, 9 October 2014

Celebrate Blogging Contest: When the Diamonds Danced - Chapter 26

Team: Alphabet Soup
You can read the previous part of the story here

Chapter – 26
“Paaa . . . ni”
“Amme Mahamaye!! All in your grace”, head priest sighed in relief and whispered a short prayer in honour of the deity. Devi has come back home and she has safe guarded the child.
Roohi is mumbling again, “paani”. She hasn’t opened her eyes yet, but clearly her consciousness is setting in. They need to hurry, he gestured to the fellow priest who was tagging along, “Shankara, run before me and inform the others. Get some water on the way”.
The little, lean priest didn’t need further encouragement. The thick forest is getting on his nerves and they are yet to reach the clearance. Noise of a stick breaking somewhere, then another . . . Was it a bad idea to leave the two constables behind?
“Oh! Roohi my darling, are you alright?”
“What happened?”
“How did you get her?”
“Where are the others?”
It’s a commotion and by the time Memana Namboodiri got back to his senses, Roohi was lying on the lap of a weeping Tara. Shekhar’s eyes too are filled and he wrapped his hands protectively over his exhausted wife and darling child.
          Jennifer opened the eagle flask, her constant travel companion of years, poured some water and put it to Roohi’s lips. Her face is gaining back its natural hue and the small eye lids flickered for a moment before revealing the brownish light inside.
          Manu is sitting calmly under the shade; the two constables are standing guard watching his movements. It seems unnecessary though, the little rascal is too clever to do any such foolish things. Under different circumstances, he could have been mistaken for a second Buddha with that calm, meditative look and sharp eyes that seems to pierce through one's heart.
          “So the thief has come back from the dead. Why may I ask?”, Sudheeran’s words were dripping with sarcasm.
Manu appeared nonplussed. He wasn’t expecting anything else from someone born with a silver spoon in mouth. He, on the other hand, had to get through with the scraps they got as a poojari. His father was no Drona to bring the real milk to his son, he needed to step into his place . . .
          “Why? Do we need some special medicine to make your majesty speak?”, Sudheeran’s words broke his reverie. The spoiled brat is demanding answers.
“I never left. Not really. I had my ways to know what happens here in my village. Time demanded me to stay away for some time. Father, that good for nothing coward, was too scared to sell the idol. And without the chosen child, no one can access that location without suspicion of Devi’s wrath. Then there was the chance of the fake idol being found.”
“So you killed Shivan to get away”.
“Don’t be so sure. I am not a murderer. Shivan was already dead when I found him in forest, I just exchanged his talisman with mine and made sure his body is not found easily. By the time they came on it, signs showed that its me.”
“A perfect getaway”
“Told you I was never really gone. I knew I would be back one day”.
“Too bad we spoiled the party on this second coming”, the constables too laughed on hearing Sudheeran’s words. Suddenly they could hear the voices of the other search party. That had the quick effect of calming everyone.
“Quick! It’s not too late. Release me now and we can share this fortune. You will need that to clear your secret debts, Mr. Varma”, colour drained from Sudheeran’s face. No one is supposed to know about that. Manu’s face beamed triumphantly.
But only for a moment.
Varma slapped him hard. "Never ask me to share our Devi's wealth! Never again!"
“Mr. Varma, are you fine?”, Ravi has come to take charge of the scene; “What the . . .”, his body went rigid on seeing Manu’s crest fallen shape.
“Yes, that is Manu. Our culprit”, clarified Sudheeran.
“Manu? Manu who? This is not Manu”.
Read the next chapter here in Reema's Blog
"Me and my team, Alphabet Soup, are participating in Game of Blogs at #Celebrate blogging with us".

Friday, 3 October 2014

Business Doctors - Sameer Kamat

Date of Reading: 19/09/2014
Author: Sameer Kamat
Subtitle:Management Consulting Gone Wild
Publisher: Booksoarus
Year: 2014
From: the author in exchange of an honest review

         Crazy! I thought on reading the cover blurb. And the reading proved that even better, with the text moving us deeper and deeper into a wild imagination involving a management consultancy.
         There is an obvious debate on who the hero could be. All eyes may turn to Michael Schneider, but I will prefer to think Angie, the brain power, as the main character. Surely she pulled the strings and others danced; her weapons could be traditional and questionable (seduction and sweet talk) and much of her actions might be behind the curtain scenes, but in a society where the fair sex is put aside as foolish and toys to warm men's beds, her conduct should be excused (well, that is if you believe in the Machiavellian dictum of end justifying the means . . .).
           One last word on the format. Front cover is great, but the choice of font style and arrangement of paragraphs are disastrous. It doesn't produce the usual magic of making us want to pick the book, the moment we open it. Now to a brief summary:
When Stephen Woody's mafia empire goes bust, his pretty wife Angie advises him to take the help of a management consultancy, just as one go to doctors to get cured of the disease. Her use of the term 'business doctors' in this particular case gets stuck and according to her plan Woody approaches Michael Schneider whose firm was then facing the problems of recession. 
         Strange though it may sound, Michael accepts the proposition and gets detour of Woody's 'business'. He and his companion Martin analyses the data and put forth a solution: new recruits. Woody convinces Michael to stay with them till the matter is finished and he devices a plan to get the recruits from the prison.
             This make over costs Woody six million and Michael uses the recruits to get the money in various ways (kidnapping, bank robbery etc.) which also tests their reliability. A tiny glitch happens when they discover who the donor is: Stevie McMohan, the very man the recruits kidnapped for ransom. An angry Stevie kills Woody, leaving the business in Angie's hands.
Sameer Kamat
She pacifies the opponents and takes over the charge and her secret affair with Michael helps into get his loyalty in the venture. She plans to act as a regent until Michael gets accepted as the true leader. WFB is back in the game.
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