ALL STANDARD DISCLAIMERS APPLY     



TALAASH
The Search

 

STATUTORY ALERT: This story contain no graphic scenes of sex






NINE




Trishul felt exhausted as he sat curled in the cane swing out on the bedroom balcony, listless as he sipped the seemingly tasteless coffee... feeling miserable!

He had been up all night worrying and wondering as every painful memory from the past returned to haunt him with a vengence...

And as his mind, still benumbed by Rachit's mysterious departure, kept going over each moment of the past two weeks - their week of togetherness - he heard the front doorbell chime below, wondering who it could be, praying that it wasn't someone from the office, or some old friend come to visit since he was in town - he was too exhausted, and absolutely in no mood for either business talk, or a session of camaraderie.

Soon the knock on his bedroom door came, and as he reluctantly called out, prepared to tell the old lady to send away whoever it was, he saw Trishanu enter.

"Hello, little brother," his older cousin smiled, walking across the room towards the balcony, a newspaper tucked neatly under his arm, "heard you got up late and haven't had your breakfast yet?" and then paused as he came out onto the covered terrace, gasping, "Trishul, what's the matter with you?!"

"Uh, couldn't sleep last night," Trishul replied, forcing a faint smile, "Sit down..."

"Well, I sensed it yesterday," Trishanu said, taking the straight-back chair, setting the folded newspaper on the glass table, "but didn't exactly know what to think..."

Trishul remained silent.

"Um, you haven't read the paper this morning, huh?" Trishanu asked.

Trishul shook his head.

"So, you don't know, or were you already aware?"

"Of what?" Trishul asked, looking up at his cousin, the eyes tired.

Trishanu picked up the paper and unfolded it, placing it back on the table...

It was the supplementary section of the Sunday paper - Lifestyle & Entertainment - and staring back at Trishul was Rachit's full page, grinning face. Bold letters emblazoned across the base, announcing:

     'AMIT UBEROI IN MUMBAI
     YOUNG DIAMANTAIRE IN BOLLYWOOD FORAY
'

"Did you know?"

Trishul shook his head, staring at the paper, uncomprehending...

"Why did he go away?"

"I don't know, he didn't tell me..."

"Mind telling me what happened?"

Trishul let out a sigh, and then slowly narrated the previous day's events...

"Trishul, my dear little brother, why didn't you tell me?"

"It was Uncle's big day, I didn't want to spoil it," Trishul murmured, sounding lame.

"Want to act big and tough?" Trishanu asked, and then added, "You are, little brother, and we are also family... but now, first things first," Trishanu picked up the paper and re-folded it, "I came as soon as I saw the picture, didn't even have coffee..." he said getting up and ringing for the housekeeper, asking her to get breakfast for both of them. And as she hurried away with a happy nod, he returned to the balcony and sat down. "I read the article, and you read it after you eat, and then tell me what all this means..."



The article inside read:

    An acknowledged diamantaire well-known on the three pedestrian streets at the heart of Antwerp's gem district, Amit Uberoi is a familiar figure in the highest echelons of the world diamond industry. And at the young age of twenty-four has already established himself as the rightful heir to his father's vast business empire that not only include diamond, but also mega real-estate finance, hedge-funds and media.

    Though this is his first visit to the country, Amit isn't exactly a stranger to the inner clique of Bollywood's powers-that-be. His father, Ranjeet Uberoi, has been funding mega Bollywood projects for over a decade now (although never openly, or officially); and sycophantic cash-strapped producers making a beeline for the Uberoi headquarters in Dubai have to first convince Amit of the viability of their project before they can even meet the senior Uberoi!

    His sudden appearance at the glittering music release party yesterday evening, while taking everyone by surprise, also set the event abuzz with speculation. And young Amit didn't disappoint.

    After the event, flanked by his stunning new girlfriend and his ever present 'friend-and-companion', (a young man who never fails to raise eyebrows wherever he goes), his posse of bodyguards forming a protective ring around him, Amit announced the formation of his own movie finance company, to be based out of Mumbai, to fund Bollywood productions.

    Following the initial stunned silence, the grand hall exploded with thunderous applause, every Bollywood personality worth his/her salt (who were present in full strength at the event) rushing forward, wanting to shake his hand (and probably make the right impression).

    There was a desperate flurry of questions from the press corps present on the occasion, and as the frantic organisers tried to shoo them away, divert their attention to the lavish buffet table, Amit intervened, smiling broadly as he announced that he was ready to take questions, thrilling the journalists.

    But it soon became apparent that the gossip columnists present either knew nothing about him and his business activities, or were too awed to ask anything meaningful, Amit fending their inane queries with disarming charm and quick tongue-in-cheek repartees that left the gathering giggly like excited school kids.

    And when a correspondent from one of those numerous glossies quipped, "With your kind of looks, and the money your dad has, you could be the biggest star, any plans of dazzling Bollywood with your acting skills?"

    "My expertise lies in judging colour and grading diamonds, and dancing around trees doesn't come naturally to me," came his instant riposte, "though, I would never miss the opportunity of a dance with you!" making the young lady go red in her face with schoolgirlish excitement.

    Well, judging colour and clarity of diamonds doesn't seem to be the only talent that comes naturally to young Amit, and behind that suave fašade and boyish charm lies a sharp and calculating brain, as brilliant as the brightest diamond ever mined!

    Seeing him at the event, and the way he had the movie moguls and glitterati fawning over him, it would seem that young Amit sure has done his homework well, and knows what makes the glamour world tick. Now, what remains to be seen is whether the son can succeed where the father had once failed.

    People of an older generation may recall Ranjeet Uberoi's first (and only) attempt at expanding his business interests to the shores of this country when his newly formed, Dubai based infrastructure consortium bid for the prestigious, multi-billion dollar megaport project, twenty years ago.

    While his senior company representatives were in the country, engaged in the official bid process, it was rumoured that he too was visiting, involved in some very high-powered, closed-door negotiations with certain very influential people. Such suggestions remained unverified, and his office in Dubai declined to either confirm or refute the rumours, or reveal where he might be.

    And then, something happen, and his company abruptly withdrew, hurriedly leaving the country under a cloud of some very serious and damaging, though unsubstantiated allegations, never to return!

    In fact, before Amit's unexpected appearance yesterday evening, there had been some persistent whispers over the past two weeks in certain circles that the young Uberoi scion may already be in the country, though no one knew his whereabouts. But then, both father and son are known to actively foster, and encourage an aura of mystery around themselves, and their every act - be it their travel plans, or their business manoeuvres.

    So, was he indeed in the country? And if so, where was he, and doing what? Was he on a secret mission, something that's unrelated to financing Bollywood movies? Is he more like his father than just being his son?





"So, what do you know about him?" Trishanu asked as Trishul looked up at him, "Anything at all?"

"Not anymore..." Trishul whispered in anguish, his eyes carefully studying the photograph.

"Little brother, please... he must have said something..."

Trishul finally looked up, "Well," he began...

... to be continued      


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Copyright © Author, [2010] 2012


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