Aug 27, 2015

Sometimes, you have to start from the beginning!

Saurabh Chawla | 3 Comments|
Note: This part is in continuation. Please read first part, Why fear your own shadow?
and second part, Dim Haze of Mystery  and the third part Bringing Back The Broken Pieces Together before reading this part.
start from the beginning quotes saurabh chawla

"What do you mean, ACP? I killed my father?" Aaliyah snorted. The sudden outburst of events had already taken a toll on her. Shrikant was unperturbed. He had seen many criminals like this before. He knew this one was a gimmick as well. For him the more innocent the criminal seems to be, more suspicion he had on him or her. This one was the similar one.

"Is that not right that you studied literature and creative writing at the University of Manchester?" Shrikant asked as he gulped down the last sip of coffee. "Also, is that not right that you wrote a screenplay during the course of which this is the part?" He pointed her attention towards the verse written on the mirror in the picture:

Neither a crony, nor the enemy
But still holding the grudges
Hitting you by no bullet or arrow
Why fear your own shadow?
"Yes, that's correct but what it has to do with my father's murder?" Aaliyah was becoming hysterical. "You tell me. Your father lies dead in the room; you are relaxing in the lawn. The verse which you wrote is written on the mirror of your father's room. What all we could expect?" Shrikant was losing his temper now.  "There are many writers out there writing stories, screenplays and all that stuff, you mean to say that all are criminals?" Aaliyah resented. "It's better to find the real culprit who, I am sorry to say is out there rather than wasting your time here." "You call my work as a waste of time? Do you know what we all are going through, what I am going through due to this case?" Shrikant bellowed. Aaliyah became more tensed. Tears started rolling down her rosy cheeks.

"The answer to your question is that not all writers have corpses in their homes." Shrikant tried to stay calm this time. Two things he couldn't stand for long; one delays in his cases and two a beautiful woman crying in front of him. It doesn't matter whether that woman was a criminal or not. This woman was no less. With a pretty face in tears and willowy expressions, this woman was truly an attraction. "I am not the one you are looking for, ACP. The real culprit is roaming outside." Aaliyah hesitated as her voice almost choked her. There is something about this woman that I feel she is saying the truth. Also, I don't have anything to prove her guilty. The confidence was an attribute which held Shrikant in a fix. And she was so confident about her being not guilty. He squared his shoulders and laid back on the Sofa, trying to think. 

In the middle of the contemplation, he heard some rough noises from outside. As he got up to have a look,
Jadhav came rushing in. He held man with the collar of his shirt. "He was hiding outside. I came at the right moment otherwise we could have lost him." Jadhav said as his grip became tighter. Aaliyah came rushing into the horror of events that took place. On seeing the man in the grip of Jadhav, she almost choked. Shrikant had a strong feeling that Aaliyah knew that man. Shrikant held on, approached her. "Do you know him?" Aaliyah was forcing her voice out of the heavy gasps. Finally she broke out, "Ishaan! What is he doing here?" Shrikant gave a steely gaze to Jadhav. Now who is this new character in the story? First time in his career, Shrikant felt his assiduous approach failing. Something was fishy in this case. All he was now concerned was to pull out the main fish from the lake. He thought of a verse he used to listen from his late father: 

No matter how deep you may drown
No matter how much you frown
If you want to ease the suffering
Then start again from the beginning!

Shrikant remembered the time when he dug the seeds of a literature lover deep within him that once lived in his skin. Probably, now it was the time to dig him out, yet again. It would be painful for him, but this case had to be solved at any cost. He indicated Jadhav to take Ishaan along with them. He had only one thing in mind at that time, if you want to ease the suffering, then start again from the beginning!

It was time to start from scratch, again!

To be continued.

Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. All the characters in this story are the product of author's imagination and bear no resemblance with any person or thing living or dead. Any such resemblance is purely coincidental.

Aug 24, 2015

Bringing Back the Broken Pieces Together

Saurabh Chawla | 4 Comments|

Note: This part is in continuation. Please read first part, Why fear your own shadow?
and second part, Dim Haze of Mystery before reading this part.

Shrikant laid back on his chair as he pondered over all the recent series of events. It was already eleven-thirty in the night. Jadhav was about to join him in few minutes. He poured himself some neat scotch, whatever it was, something is not right, something is not right at all. He was taken aback by a presentiment. He was looking for a missing link in the case. He heard the doorbell. He went on swiftly to open the door. His movement was so brusque that he pushed off the glass off the shelf.

bringing back the broken pieces together

Jadhav entered the lobby of his home. "Come in, come in." Shrikant indicated him as he walked back into the kitchen. "Is everything all right, sir?"Jadhav re-confirmed. "Yeah, yeah, want some scotch?" Shrikant was belligerent. Jadhav sensed it. He hasn't seen the iron of a man melt like this since his last complex case ten years ago. Shrikant remained preoccupied as he collected the broken pieces of glass in a towel. Picking up two fresh whiskey glasses, he fixed the drink, on the rocks for himself and Jadhav.

Jadhav, being aware about the phase Shrikant was going through, couldn't stop himself. "Sir, there is something that is bothering you." Shrikant was hesitant. "You can share it." Shrikant took a sip of whiskey, frowning from the strong taste. Jadhav waited for him to arrive in the state of composure. After a while, Shrikant spoke up. "Do you see the broken glass pieces over there, Jadhav?" Jadhav nodded. "My life is not any different now!" Jadhav raised his eyebrow. Indeed his sense of something wrong turned out to be true. Staring at his inscrutable face, he enquired, "What's the point?" Shrikant rested the glass on the round table in front of him. "This case is a mess. And those media guys are leaving no chance to hamper my reputation." Jadhav got the point. It takes a hell lot of time and patience to get to a point where Shrikant stood. It takes a second to destroy it. "Pressure is mounting on me. If the case is not solved immediately, the consequences can be fatal." 

Jadhav knew that the man who stood in front of him was not afraid of any consequences. All he was concerned about was his respect in others eyes. He can't afford a blot on his character or his ability to solve a damn case. Shrikant invited Jadhav in his study room, the place where they discussed the cases. Jadhav sat on a chair opposite Shrikant. The table was filled with the evidences that they have got so far. The intricacy of this case has led them to keep a close watch on every possible angle of the two murders. Picking up the picture that Jadhav clicked at Mohanlal's farmhouse, he gave a closer look at the verse that was written on the mirror:

Neither a crony, nor the enemy
But still holding the grudges
Hitting you by no bullet or arrow
Why fear your own shadow?
"What do you think about it?" Shrikant asked laconically. "I think our killer is a literature lover, someone, who is tempted by poetry," he reviewed the verse again and continued, "Seems like killer was someone known to him." He emphasized on the last line 'Why fear your own shadow?' 

Shrikant reviewed the records he had in front of him. He was trying to fish out something. Jadhav interrupted, "What are we up to now?" Shrikant picked up a file and placed it open in front of Jadhav. "We have our suspect here. Jadhav held close the file as he scanned through a BA Degree in English Literature from the University of Manchester, UK. What surprised him was not the degree but the name of the one it was issued to. The name on it was Aaliyah.

While the suspense intrigued Jadhav, Shrikant could see the dim haze of mystery fading away. The shadow seemed to come out of the darkness. He looked at the broken pieces of the whiskey glass. All started making sense to him. The broken pieces were come together now.

To be continued.

Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction. All the characters in this story are the product of author's imagination and bear no resemblance with any person or thing living or dead. Any such resemblance is purely coincidental.

Aug 21, 2015

The WASH initiative: A move India needs

Saurabh Chawla | | 0 Comments|

Safe drinking water and Sanitation is required by all. But unfortunately, millions are affected in our country because they lack in access to these facilities. With new initiatives launched by our Prime Minister, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), the WASH Program by Coca-Cola in association with TERI University is targeted towards providing access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities.

coca-cola CSR initiative for sanitation and hygiene

Safe water and proper Sanitation are the basic facilities providing both tangible and intangible benefits to human health and society as a whole - some of which are easily identifiable and quantifiable in terms of cost and time while others provide intangible benefits like convenience, well-being, dignity, privacy and safety.

Sanitation ensures prevention from a range of health and environment related problems. This can lead to sickness on a whole restricting access to earn a living or gain an education. Without proper sanitation facilities, people, especially who own little or no land need to walk a distance to find a safe and private open space. This is difficult for the sick, pregnant women, elderly, children or disabled people. Moreover, it’s a huge waste of time, effort and human potential. No sanitation has led to open defecation which also pollutes the surroundings and invites diseases. Defecation near water sources and where food is being grown can spread disease.

It is also a major cause of concern for girls. Even it is a deciding factor for girls to attend schools, lack of which has led to girls not attending schools. So a clean and hygienic sanitation is needed for education of the girl child. Awareness around these is essential for keeping the community disease free. These include many areas – household and personal hygiene, hygiene around shared water resources, waste water management, ensuring use of soap.

water and sanitation hygienne program (WASH)

India, being a growing economy, has been unable to keep pace with the Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The WASH program (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) aims to reach 50,000 beneficiaries in low-income settlements and over 300 professionals through WASH governance studies. It will also reach out to 2,500 students through 20 municipal schools across India.

TERI University and USAID with Coca-Cola WASH CSR initiative

TERI University is currently leading U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Project titled “Strengthening Water and Sanitation in Urban Settings” focusing on capacity-building at various levels across India. The project also includes behavioural analysis and interventions in cities of Chennai and Kolkata.

Some of the suggestions that emerged from this event held were:

1. Collaborative approach to managing waste water and providing access to sanitation.
2. Practice water harvesting irrespective of resident type- independent bungalow or apartment or hut.
3. Maintain a safe distance between water resource and toilets and waste disposal and treatment plants.
4. Create awareness and behavioral change by collaborating with schools and media houses.
5. Combine traditional knowledge with latest technologies for managing water and sanitation.

With these organizations supporting the cause, I am sure that millions would be benefited by gaining access to safe drinking water and proper, hygienic sanitation facilities.
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