Chapter 6

Written by: Nishant Kaushik

Time heals nothing. Baby Paurush knew little about it when the doorbell of the twentieth floor apartment in downtown Dubai rang. The ominous shuffle of footsteps on the marble floor was all it took for Shweta to come running out with a gasp.

Swaminathan stood at the door with a bevy of sidekicks. ‘Smile, Shweta. Your family is here!’

‘Don’t touch my boy!’ she wailed in fright.

Swaminathan sighed. ‘Well if this is what it had to come to, fine. Let’s walk.’

Leaving a teary-eyed toddler in the custody of his dumbfounded nanny, Shweta walked out onto the boulevard and out of her loved ones’ sight with those who had once again taken control of her destiny.


The flight lasted three hours too long. Unable to stop herself from crying, Shweta stared languidly out the window even as her uncle pressed into her wrist continually lest she create a scene.

‘I just want to speak to Salim once,’ she sobbed.

‘Find peace in knowing he is alright,’ said her uncle. ‘At least till we lay our hands on him. Now tell me, where is he?’

‘I am not going to tell you.’

Swaminathan and his men had combed the city and her house tirelessly. They had found nothing. Call it the will of the Almighty, but Salim was afforded a lifer by virtue of the weeklong conference that had summoned him to Tokyo. He must not even have a whiff of this yet, she brooded while passively thanking their stars for keeping him away from this serpent of the past raising its hood once again. As the plane commenced its descent, she offered an empty stare to the skyline she once marvelled at. It was surreal, the way a handful of antagonists could fill one’s heart with so much hatred for an entire city. The towering slabs of concrete, as though reaching out to pull her into their fold, sent a shiver up her spine. One bout of vomit later, she passed out.


Inside a bar located on the shimmering night street of Tokyo, a deal had just been made and a toast had been raised. In the dead of the night, well after there was no business for him to dawdle around, Salim paced up and down the pavement slapping his phone on an open palm as though urging it to ring or flash with a text alert. Almost an hour later, a loud ringtone had him nearly jump out of his skin in feverish excitement.


‘There is no need to fret about a divorce,’ Swaminathan snapped at his sister. ‘Your daughter will be widowed by tomorrow and we will give her a new lease of life.’

A terrified Lakshmi lent her phone to Shweta. ‘Tell him to flee. I know your uncle won’t lay a finger on Paurush. He will be safe. But Salim…….. I don’t know.’

The next ten seconds sent Shweta hurtling into a void.

‘Hello?’ came an unknown woman’s voice when she dialled Salim.


It's a great chapter Nishant. You have moved the story forward deftly and convincingly.

Loved that you added a twist at the end, bringing in a suspense angle into the story.
Very interesting development and narrative Nishant. Kept me glued!
Now the weddings and funeral are starting to tie in. This is a super chapter with great pace. You held the disparate events together really well.