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Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Gnawing Suspicions

Read the previous part here
'I can see your Saturn is seated on the third house having a crooked vision on the Venus in the fifth house. This sort of combination of starts is bound to create problems.'
'Your partner is unfaithful to you.' Mauli said. At that point, Vinay wanted to catch him by his neck and strangulate him to death. If not Nisha had interfered and somehow controlled Vinay, Mauli's end was eminent. Nisha cut short the meeting and both of them left Mauli's residence at Kolhapur, some sixty kilometres from Ajara.

'How could he say that?' Vinay said as they navigated through the maze of alleys that lead to the main road.
'Vinay, I have known him for more than a decade and I can vouch that his readings are accurate.'

Vinay was still fuming and didn't speak a word.
'He had predicted everything from my medical career to the death of my parents.' Nisha continued.
'Must be fluke. These people speak some mumbo jumbo just for the sake of money.'

'Vinay, I can understand how difficult it must be for you. But Mauli is not like that. Firstly, there is no money involved. He is my friend's distant uncle and has never charged me anything. Secondly, he has performed penance for fourteen years at Mount Girnar where the Lord Dattreya bestowed these siddhis upon him.'
'The magical powers, they are called siddhis.' Nisha replied.
'I guess we missed something.' Nisha said when they entered a few lanes and reached the dead end.

'Yes, we have missed something.' Vinay repeated her words. Her words replayed some scenes from his past with all the minor details which he had missed. That is what happens when you look at the same set of facts from a different lens, and perhaps with a prejudiced filter.

Vinay remembered that day when he had fallen ill after meeting the mystery woman for the second time, Sulabha had picked his camera and carefully placed it in the safe. Vinay hardly handled the safe which contained mainly Sulabha's jewellery. The following day when he had been for the morning walk again while Sulabha was sleeping, he had taken out the camera. At that time something had fell from the safe. Vinay casually picked it up and found it was a greeting card in pink envelope. He opened it and found that it was a birthday card given by someone called Satish to Sulabha. It even carried a date 11.11. 1998. At that juncture, Vinay didn't find anything unsual. There was nothing objectionable in the card. It was just a birthday card and the message in it was printed by the card making company, with only Satish's name and the date below it written in a blue fountain pen.

But now that the scene had replayed in his head, he wondered who was Satish and why had Sulabha kept the card gifted by him two decades ago securely in the safe. It meant two things the card was extremely special, precious to her and she wanted to keep it a secret. Vinay did the mathematics and came to a conclusion that on the date when it was presented to her, Sulabha was still in college. As they were not married, she had not technically cheated upon him. Everyone has college flings. But then why had she carefully preserved the card for all these years?

'Let me tell you Vinay that I hated Di for the way she bossed around and dominated my life in general. I trust Mauli too. He is not a mere astrologer. He is a yogi with supernatural powers. Di was always the obedient child and I was the spoilt brat. Nobody thought that I would be a doctor. For all the expectations were pinned upon Di. I was the good for nothing, duffer in the family. I always felt bad about it and secretly I harboured a deep hatred for Di. So when Mauli said something negative about Di, I got the ultimate chance to find a blot in her flawless character and immediately jumped upon it. But on second thoughts I feel that Di is not like that. I regret taking you to Mauli. This time he was wrong.'

Vinay who was burrowed in his own thoughts could hear her words, but they didn't seem to make any sense to him. He was carefully scanning every incident of his life, trying to find something which could either corroborate or nullify the doubts which were buzzing in his head.

After an hour of driving they reached home. Vinay got out of the car.
He entered the house. He saw that one well built man around his age was sitting on the sofa and sipping the tea. As Vinay entered the house, he couldn't see his face for his back was towards the entrance. Sulabha was sitting across her and chatting with him. Sulabha looked extremely happy. She was giggling like a school girl. Vinay was seeing this side of Sulabha for the first time. Seeing him come, she said, 'Here comes my husband Vinay.'

The man placed the cup on the table and turned his head towards Vinay. As Vinay entered the house the man got up. Vinay couldn't miss his towering persona. He was six feet tall and muscular. His bulging biceps, sun-burnt complexion and perfect jawline gave Vinay a complex.

'Hi! I am Satish,' He said and gave Vinay a tight handshake.
'Vinay meet Satish. In fact it was his father who had built this house.'
'I was passing by. Thought why not drop in and greet and meet the new owners of the house.' Satish said.
'Can you believe Vinay me and Satish studied in the same college and we are meeting for the first time in all these years.'

Vinay didn't believe her. His eyes met Nisha's and she gestured him to take it easy. Vinay's fears were compounding and they amplified when Satish said, 'Sulu, I swear I didn't know you had bought this house.'
'But I didn't buy the house from you.' Vinay raised a valid objection. He was enraged on seeing a stranger address his wife with an endearment.
Read the next part here
Read my short read My Spiritual Journey 

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