Celebrate Blogging: When the Diamonds Danced-Chapter 23

Team: Alphabet Soup
Read the previous chapter on Sunita's Blog.

Shekhar and Tara were distraught after what Jennifer had told them. Their little one was now in the hands of a monster whom they had trusted all this while. They were both wondering how could they be so careless about their daughter! How could they even trust a stranger with their precious daughter after knowing all that had happened in the past.
As they were sitting there and thinking what could be done, Jennifer walked towards them. She walked towards Tara and tried consoling her and telling her that everything would be fine. Tara began crying all the more.
Shekhar's gaze fell on Jennifer and pointing towards her, he asked Tara, "Wasn't she the one who told you to hand over Roohi to Cyrus? Now look at her trying to console you!".

He yelled at Jennifer, "What are you doing here now? You got what you wanted right? I know I shouldn't have trusted you and left you close to our daughter. Now see what has happened. I know you must be an accomplice! And that is why you asked us to handover Roohi to Cyrus. You were the one who was with Cyrus. We didn't know him much. Now tell me, where is my daughter! I won't leave you until I find my daughter. Where is the police? Arrest her! She is the accomplice!"

Tara couldn't control herself. She slapped Jennifer and told her, "I trusted you though I never knew you. I made you a part of my team. And is this the way you treat me? What did my daughter do? Was it her fault that she loved playing and being with you?"

Jennifer couldn't take it anymore. The false accusations hurt her all the more. She couldn't control her tears and walked away from there.

Shekhar lost his cool.

"Didn't I tell you that there was some danger waiting for us here? How could you put our daughter's life in trouble?"

"Shekhar, please calm down! I didn't do anything wrong. I just wanted Roohi to be a part of trip here to Kerala", she said.

"But see what this trip of yours has done! I will never forgive you Tara if something goes wrong with my daughter. You brought her here because you were selfish! I told you about the book and about what had happened here before. Yet, you chose not to listen. If Roohi and I were back in Mumbai, she would at least be there with me happily! Now see what you have done!"

"For heaven's sake Shekhar, will you stop blaming me? Roohi is my daughter as well!" Tara again burst into tears.

Shekhar felt guilty of accusing her like this. He hugged her and began to console her.

“Tara, I dont know how I controlled myself the first time Roohi went missing. I couldnt take it when I heard the news again.”

His daughter was now in trouble and he had to help her. There was no use of fighting with Tara. Instead they now had to work as a team. He began thinking how he could find his daughter.

Jennifer walked into her room and slammed the door shut. She had never hurt anyone all her life and always, she ended up getting hurt. Always! She had trusted Cyrus so easily and didn't even bother to keep an eye on him. She was never suspicious about him. She now felt foolish for giving him constant updates about all the happenings in the case.

He was pretending to be a bad liar. He was a lawyer damn it! And I thought I read his mind. I had read what he had showed me!

She had never been deceived so badly by anyone. Believing Cyrus was a big mistake. But entrusting him with Roohi was a bigger mistake. She didn't have anybody else to blame for it except herself. She felt like she had betrayed Tara and Shekhar. They were right in accusing her as she had told that Roohi would be safe with Cyrus. Jennifer cried. After a long time.

 She had to act now. The only way of getting Shekhar and Tara to trust her again was to find out where Cyrus had taken Roohi and get her back safely. She walked around her room thinking what could be done and made a few calls.

Shekhar was now thinking what the next course of action would be. He called a few of the locals and inquired whether they had any information regarding Roohi but he reached a dead end. He decided to use Aryan Ahuja's help. He could do anything for his daughter and Aryan could definitely help him in some way or the other. Shekhar didn't care about the temple’s rules and regulations. His daughter's safety was his only priority now. 
Shekhar walked to the temple office and Sudheeran Varma was standing there with Inspector Ravi. "Ah, here he comes. He didn't want us to take the child's help in catching the thief and now he had willing handed her over to the thief. I told you that she would be safe here but then you wouldn't believe me."

Shekhar was furious. Sensing the hostility between both of them, Ravi jumped in and tried to calm the situation. He told them that this wasn't the time to be reactive but to be proactive and that they couldn't waste time trying to fight over whose fault it was. Cyrus was a sly person and had easily tricked all of them into believing him. Ravi assured them both of the child's safety.

Ravi immediately called his entire team. Heated discussions followed as to what was to be done next. As per what they had found as of now, the idol was somewhere in the temple premises. If Cyrus wanted to steal the idol he couldn't do it without Roohi's help and that it is why he held Roohi captive. He would definitely be hiding some where close to the temple to make things easier for him. They tried tracing his location using his cellphone number but it was of no use. Suddenly Ravi remembered that Cyrus had told that he knew about more chambers in the temple than anybody else. Chances were that he was currently going towards a chamber which was not known to others. Ravi immediately ordered a thorough search in and around the temple premises.

The cops began searching the temple premises. The present priest and Sudheeran directed them to all the chambers that were known to them. Every door, every window was searched. Every nook and cranny was searched with the hope of finding a clue regarding the unknown chambers that Cyrus had told them about. The pond and its surroundings was also thoroughly searched but nothing was to be found. The search team returned to the temple office unsuccessful.

They reached a dead end. Nothing could be found and they were not even an inch closer to finding Roohi. Ravi went through all the possibilities. But nothing made sense. They had to find those secret chambers, for he was now sure that Cyrus was hiding there. He asked Sudheeran for the temple maps. They went through all the maps possible and there was no mention of the secret chambers. Was Cyrus bluffing them in order to divert their attention? That could be a possibility but he couldn't be certain about it. Finally they decided to go back to the old priest again to get any possible piece of information that he could give them about the temple architecture.

When the team reached the priest's house, they were in for a shock. The priest was missing. They searched his house thoroughly but there was no clue about his whereabouts. All that greeted them was the empty bed. They saw the boy wandering outside the priest’s house and he looked scared. They questioned him about the priest and all that he was able to tell was that the priest was in the house the previous night.

Ravi was flabbergasted! His only hope in this case was also missing. He couldn't let this happen. All through his life he had the reputation of being a great detective and this case seemed to question his reputation. He couldn't let this case become public as a lot was at stake. He ordered for a thorough search in and around Vajrakshipuram.

He returned to the temple premises and he saw Tara and Shekhar standing there. Looking at him coming empty handed, they knew that Roohi was still not found. Yet, Shekhar asked the Inspector whether they had found anything about Roohi. Ravi shook his head.

"You people are useless. This is a small village and you still can't find my daughter! Wait let me hire some private detective agency. They will do the job better", screamed an angry Shekhar.

Ravi knew that any explanations at this moment would be of no use. So he only replied, "We are trying".

Before Shekhar could respond, his attention was diverted by loud cry. It was Tara wailing.

"My daughter! My daughter! Where is she? Please get my daughter back", she kept crying. Shekhar ran to her and consoled her. "Tara, everything will be fine. Please calm down", he said.

"Nothing is going to be fine Shekhar. My little Roohi is in trouble. How can I be quiet? Please Shekhar do something!" she pleaded.

Shekhar consoled Tara but even he was scared for Roohi. How he wished Tara hadn't come to Kerala. How he wished Roohi and himself had stayed behind. If only he could get back his Roohi safe and sound. The more he thought about it, the more it saddened him. Was it already too late? He feared the worst. But he kept his fears to himself as he didn't want to scare Tara.

Jennifer was still sitting in her room. She didn't have the strength to face Tara and Shekhar until she could help them find Roohi. She went through the pictures that she had clicked in the past few days. Roohi's pictures made her feel sad. Roohi was a cute girl whose naughtiness made everyone smile. Though it was only a few days since Jennifer had met Roohi, that little girl had won her heart. She remembered all the beautiful moments that they had spent together. Those innocent conversations kept rolling in her mind.

"Will you teach me photography Jenny aunty?"

"Definitely my dear"
"Then Roohi loves you"
"I love you too Roohi"

She kept remembering random incidents that Roohi had told her about. She had told her about the games that she had played in school, about her teachers and her friends.
"Our teacher made us play a nice game in school the other day. She hid an object and asked us to search for it. If we were close to the object, she would draw a triangle and when we were far away from it, she would draw a rectangle. If we were somewhere in between, she would draw a circle. "

"That is a nice game Roohi"

"Jenny aunty, what if you were the object that I was searching for?"

"What about it Roohi?"

She drew a triangle and stood beside Jennifer and said, "I am close to you".

Jennifer had hugged her. She had rarely felt so happy. Roohi had made her smile.

The more Jennifer thought about it, the sadder she became. She missed Roohi. There was still no clue about Roohi. Would she get to meet Roohi again? She shuddered at that thought. How did it all turn to be such a mess?  How did it get so late so soon? , she wondered.

Somewhere in the distance, a bird sang, a melancholy song. Jennifer felt as though the nature was reflecting her sorrow.

One evening, you will miss the nightingale’s music badly. Set her free and she’ll sing her song.

She remembered the madman’s words.

The madman!

He has answers. He is the caged nightingale!

Read the next chapter on Aashish's blog. 

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

Also writing this post for Day 6 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

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