Disclaimer - This is a work of fiction.
Continued from Part 1, Part 2.
I decided that Neela should die. Before I left for my home at Adyar , I called Manikam , a popular rowdy in Madras city known for his atrocities and crime. I asked him to kill Neela on Thursday 17th October , one day before my birthday. I paid him a lump sum to get Neela killed.
It was 18th October. 1998 ,the year I turned Fifty, it was celebrated as a major festival in Tamil Nadu.The same day my 300th Tamil movie was to be released. I came out of the Cinema hall which was festooned with lights and balloon. My red carpet entry graced the Premier of "Morradan,". It was a big day for me as my other film "Veera Kaalai" was declared as a blockbuster hit. I was jubilant after I got the good news. My wife Rajatha and daughter Hema accompanied me for the premier show.
|Image taken from Google Images|
Hours later when I stepped out of the Cinema Hall ,I observed a large group of people crowded outside Cinemax to greet and wish me on account of my 50th birth anniversary. Little did I know that a major shock awaited me the same day. A senior Police Inspector flashed a warrant issued against me for the murder of Model Neela. The police arrested me in front of 10000 people who gathered to wish me. I helplessly saw my wife and daughter who had no inkling of what happened. The police said that I was found guilty of murdering model Neela who was found dead in my Mylapore Bungalow on 15th October.I paid Manikam for killing Neela on 17th October. I was worried for once and all the witnesses were against me. They found my Rollex wrist watch at the murder sight and they announced me as the culprit. Even my lawyers could not be of much help. I was sentenced to life term as per IPC 302.
The fame which I accumulated all these 25 years came to a downfall. I served the jail term. I met the fellow prisoners who were kind to me. It was just once that I met my wife during those 14 years in jail. My daughter Hema used to visit me quite often and during one such visit she told me about Rajatha's death. The next time Hema came to visit me with her husband whom she loved since college days. My life in prison has been a learning experience where I learned what life was all about. I urged Manikam not to kill her before 17th October but I never knew what went wrong. He proved his innocence in front of the court by briefing the judges about our conversation which took place that night. He claimed that he never killed model Neela. The one question which perturbed me was the mysterious death of Neela.He returned the lump sum amount which I gave him just making the case critical. All that I knew was that I didn’t kill her. It was the mask which I wore, the artificial mask of fame and name which tempted me. But I am still not sure who killed Neela. Fourteen years later when I came out of the Prison, I started looking the world from a different point of view. I had nothing to lose ..no fame ,name and love from people. People who looked upon me as an idol and worshipped me as God once started mocking me. A tear drop rolled down my cheeks as I introspected my past days of my life where I embraced melancholy .The clock struck 8 and I went inside the bathroom to wash my face.
"Appa...what happened..didn't you sleep whole night," Hema came to call me for breakfast.
"No dear..just tired and upset, you guys carry on," I said to her as I concealed the tears from my eyes.
"And did Akhila woke up?," I curiously asked her. I promised her to tell her the entire story but poor thing slept.
"Hey dada...you liar, you never told me the complete story ," My granddaughter Akhila pulled my cheeks from behind.
"You took her name and there comes the devil..," Hema smiled and left for the kitchen.
"Dada ...you know we all are going to our Mylapore Bungalow today. Its all messed up," Little Akhila smiled.I had to smile back at her too. I knew everything about the Mylapore Bungalow, the place which sheltered my beautiful model and the same place where she breath her last breath.
“No dear,I’m not coming,” I said to my little princess Akhila.
“Come Dada , please come with us no…,” She insisted.
“No dear.. your dada is old now.. shouldn’t he rest?,” I told her.
“If you don’t come then I won’t talk to you from now one,” She grimaced. “Ohh..blackmailing dada huh,” I laughed.
“Ok lets go ,” I said and we left for Mylapore. The Mylapore bungalow was located at the outskirts of Madras. I could feel the same old memories of Neela as I stepped inside the bungalow. I felt a sudden brisk air that kissed my hair. I felt nostalgic and energetic as I entered the bungalow. The world thinks I was the main culprit who killed Neela and that’s what my family believed. Rajatha loved me a lot but it was the womanizer in me who changed her feelings towards me. She might be not here with us but I always loved her. “Dada…Dada…look what I found here,” Little Akhila handed me a diary which was dirty. I cleaned the diary to remove all the dust. It was Neela’s diary , a diary which contained all her musings,feelings and her stories.
“Where did you find this? ,” I curiously asked her.
“I found it inside the cupboard in between the clothes,” She smiled. I turned to the last page to check her last diary entry. The page some had unusual color which I believed to be blood stains.
|Image taken from Google image|
“15th October 1998,
I have no words to describe what I feel for you.I failed to do my job. You stole my heart with your charisma and charm. There is someone who doesn’t want you to live. I was hired to kill you but you gave me your love which blindfolded me and my heart. Yes, I fell for you. Today I write this last letter just for you to know how much I love you. Yes, you know the one who tipped me to kill you. That person doesn’t want us together. She slit my throat with a knife. Love you…Love you dear Superstar..”
I was shocked to read this diary entry. Neela was hired to kill me but sadly she fell in love with me. But still I failed to learn who the actual murderer was. I turned back the pages to read her previous diary entries.
“13th October 1998,
Superstar kissed me and we both made love . I played a big prank on him. I lied to him that I will reveal everyone about our relationship. How foolish of him to take that seriously. I would not even dream to cause hurt to my dear Superstar, my first love”
“7th December 1997,
Today Mrs Rajatha, the wife of our beloved Superstar approached me with a lump sum to seduce Superstar Ravikant and kill him. However I fail to know why she chose me? .There are many others who could do so. She said that after seeing the Levo ad , she decided to contact me. I refused but she convinced me. I had no options left …She cajoled me for she wanted to kill the womanizer with a Superstar mask.All that I wanted was money … Life is all about money , honey!! ”
A tear drop rolled down my cheeks as I read her entry made on 7th December .It was a plan.It was indeed a trap which was set for me by my wife and Neela realized that I was not the one who killed Neela. For that I had even served a jail term of 14 years only to know later that I was innocent.
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