Team: Alphabet Soup
Read the previous chapter on Bragadeesh's blog
The new information
that Cyrus had given her made Jennifer restless. Suddenly, she too began to
feel that Cyrus’s hunch might be right. Not that they got an evident proof
regarding the same. But there could be a connection between the theft of the
idol and the child’s death which took place years ago. She decided to tell the
team about it and walked towards the temple. The police were once again
interrogating Shekhar and were trying to ascertain whether the idol found in
his bag was the real one or not.
“I think I know
something” she said. But nobody listened to her.
“The idol is fake. It
was well protected and no one knew its whereabouts. What if all this has to do with
something that took place 14 years ago?” Jennifer said. Suddenly there was a
lull in the room. Everyone present there was dumbfounded.
“Do you even know what
are you talking about?”, questioned Sudheeran Varma.
“Yes! 14 years ago at this very place and during this very festival a little
girl died mysteriously. The priest who was the sole witness to her death is now
paralyzed. Isn’t there too much of a mystery here?”
“Enough! We have been living in Vajrakshipuram since our birth. We know what
happened here better than you Miss Jennifer!” yelled Sudheeran.
The Police weren’t
ready to believe anything that Jennifer had to say to them. “Miss Jennifer, are
you trying to say that we were negligent regarding our duties? We have
investigated the case well. And this case was closed. We didn’t find anything
unnatural back then.”
“And may I know how
exactly the girl died?” she asked.
“The girl slipped when she was immersing the idol and drowned in the water.
There is no mystery behind it.”, they replied.
“And how do you explain the priest’s paralysis?”
“That might just be a co-incidence. Stop talking rubbish. That case has nothing
to do with this. And it is still not established that this idol is fake. You
better mind your own business.”, Sudheeran Varma said angrily.
“Oh! You call these
things just a mere co-incidence? I smell something fishy here. And I don’t
think that it is a coincidence that you are getting angry about what I have
just revealed Mr. Varma”, Jennifer replied.
Jennifer’s words made
him angrier and he threw the file that was in his hands. Photographs of the
previous festival, the idol and the girl fell from his hands. And suddenly his
rage turned into fear and he walked away. Jennifer decided that it was useless
to talk to them without any evidence and walked away from there.
The questions that
came to her mind had no answers. She was disturbed by all that was happening. She
felt that Varma was somehow involved in this. All this couldn’t have happened
without his knowledge. But then there was no evidence against him. She had to
find out more about this. She had to get to the bottom of this matter. Cyrus’s
files were her only source of information as of now. And she decided to go
through them thoroughly.
She opened the thick
file that Cyrus had given her. There were a lot of reports, notes and newspaper
clippings about the festival. She admired his meticulousness. He had sorted
each of the information according to its relevance. The police reports said
that the child slipped and drowned. The priest was found unconscious on the
stairs. The idol had fallen inside the pond. If the idol was there by the time
people reached, when was the idol switched?
Many thoughts were playing in her head. What if the idol was switched during
any of the previous processions? What if the reports have been tampered with?
With the influence that Sudheeran had, nothing was impossible. The priest was
paralysed and he wouldn’t be of much help in solving this mystery.
Was there something
about the temple that she still didn’t know about? She wondered how the temple
festival might have originated and searched for anything that had to do with
the history of the festival. And there she found an article about the origin of
The myth about Vajarakshipuram says that the Goddess is a
child Goddess. The Goddess visited the village regularly since a long time.
Many centuries back, there lived a girl in the village who was an ardent
devotee of the Goddess. Pleased with her devotion the Goddess used to appear to
the little girl every day. The little girl was special to the Goddess and soon
they were friends. A lot of time passed like this and all of a sudden the
Goddess did not appear to the girl. The girl was heartbroken. She stayed in the
temple without food and drink pleading with the Goddess to appear to her. The
Goddess appeared to her on the 4th day. The Goddess told the
girl that she was saving one of her devotees who was in trouble. The Goddess
was pleased with girl’s devotion to her and promised her that she would not
leave Vajrakshipuram unless she was accompanied by the girl. And from then
began the tradition of choosing a girl child to carry the idol of the Goddess.
Jennifer read this and
was amazed about how this tradition came into being. As she turned the pages,
she found another article that said that a man who had tried to steal the idol
lost his sight and went around the village screaming and howling. She found it
hard to believe.
The other stuff in the
file did not give her any other piece of relevant information. And then she
remembered about Cyrus’s blog. He had told her that he had written some things
about the temple incident in it. She decided to call Cyrus and ask him about
the blog. He picked her call after a couple of rings.
“Hello Cyrus. I hope I
am not disturbing you.”
“Hi Jen! I am working
on something but it is fine. What is the matter?”
“I was going through
all these files that you had given me regarding the temple”
“So the detective is
in action huh? Did you find something of importance?”
“No Cyrus. But I
remembered about your blog and I was wondering if I could read it.”
“Let us see. Thank you
“Thanks Jen. See you
typed the URL and started reading the blog. There were a lot of posts on his
blog and all of them mostly dealt with law. As she skimmed through some posts,
she found the mention of Vajarakshipuram in a few of them.
He had made sure that he hadn’t published any of his hunches. A few articles
about the procession, the Goddess’ powers and some stories his father had told
Jennifer began looking through other unrelated articles of his. There were a
lot of interesting stuff. Most of them were related to his father’s research
and how Cyrus used to join him. There was one about an antique store –
Hephaestus Antiques. He had been to the antique store a couple of times with
She decided to Google the store name and there popped up a lot of results
regarding the Greek God Hephaestus. After a few more word combinations, she
found what she wanted. A few articles regarding the antique store, how the
store was gradually gaining a lot of customers and the like.
One article read;
The antique store not only trade in antiques, but they also
make reproduction of antique pieces. Mr. Aryan Ahuja, the proprietor himself
looks into the making of the pieces. Perfection and customer satisfaction is
their key area.
She managed to find the address of the store and luckily his residential
address too. He lived in a posh area in the suburbs of Mumbai. She noted down
his address and decided to ask Cyrus about it.
If he is trustworthy and knowledgeable, he could help them in the case.
Tired from all the
thinking and reading that she had done, she decided to take a nap. She lay down
on her bed thinking of all the things that had happened that day. And Roohi’s
face kept coming in front of her eyes. Suddenly something that Roohi had said
came to her mind. Roohi had told her about her house in Mumbai. And then it
struck her! The Dutta’s lived in the same locality as that of Mr. Aryan Ahuja! How
did they miss that? All the while, they were searching for someone who could
help them with the case. But the Dutta’s did not mention him.
“Mumbai, here I
come!”, she exclaimed.
Want to know what happens next? Read the next chapter on Aashish's blog.