S2E04: Calling a Blackmailer’s Bluff

Recap S2E03 – New Pairings:

Khush and Swapna get together. He enquires why she has always avoided him. Swapna tells him how she had felt hurt by his behaviour in the past. She goes on to acknowledge Harry’s positive influence on her and how their love going back nearly 40 years had reached a stage of detached attachment. Harry and Aneesha on the dance floor signal Swapna and Khush to join them. The two couples live it up with some dirty dancing.

The dancing went on for a while before they wound up with an exhausting track called The Time of My Life. Swapna and Aneesha were competing with one another but Khush and Harry were completely exhausted. They were amused to see the women leave the room immediately after the track ended. Harry patted Khush on his shoulders as if to say, “Let them have it out while we relax”. Khush caught on. They settled down with a drink while the ladies were busy freshening up in the washroom.

 “Where did you disappear?” asked Harry as the women returned.

“We spent some time together,” replied Swapna.

“I am eager to know, how,” said Khush.

“What were you thinking Khush?” enquired Aneesha.

“I don’t think that much, I am bindaas,” replied Khush.

“Why did your eyes sparkle? Maybe you were thinking about what they did together. Tell us, be bindaas,” urged Harry.

“I was thinking about the two of you in a physical encounter,” replied Khush, his gaze firmly on Swapna.

 “Women don’t have a one-track mind. Men think of such things because they are taboo. Women have graver concerns, as the preying eyes of men never leave them alone,” replied Swapna.

“That’s interesting, Swapna, because I can think both like a man and a woman. I understand both viewpoints and desires. In the ultimate analysis they are both good, but insecurity, greed and power has come in our way. This is what we have done to ourselves; the purity within us has been destroyed,” said Aneesha.

“This has happened due to the taboo imposed by godly people; the agents of God, who want to exercise control,” responded Swapna.

“The purity of physical intimacy has been overpowered by words such as adultery and infidelity. Why should we suppress the greatest joy granted to us and not indulge ourselves to outgrow it?” asked Harry.

“Adultery no longer a criminal offence in India,” added Khush.

“I just remembered how you got the hotel manager who was extorting money from innocent lovers, behind bars,” said Harry.

“It was my friend Zareena, who was in love with Farook, another friend,” recalled Khush.

“You mean, Freddie Mercury?” enquired Aneesha.

“No silly, this Farook is alive and of Harry’s age. Anyway, this manager, Subodh Pal, quit his job after a rift with the owner’s son, who had recently joined the business, armed with an MBA degree from Harvard. To spite the management, he took along information on all couples who stayed at the hotel on an hourly basis. Soon, he began to blackmail them. Zareena and Farook happened to be one of them. I roped in my buddy, the Chief of Police and we laid a trap for the blackmailer who was due to visit Zareena’s house to collect the hush money. Coincidentally, this happened on September 27 last year, a couple of hours after the Supreme Court ruled that adultery was no longer an offence,” said Khush.

“I remember this,” recalled Swapna. “Raima was thrilled because it gave women equal rights. The Supreme Court called the law unconstitutional because it treated the husband as the master. But why did Zareena, not Farook approach you for help?”

“Farook felt awkward; Zareena is his neighbour’s wife,” replied Khush. “While the manager was counting the money, Zareena asked him about the other people he had blackmailed. He rattled off the details and we have the evidence on video, thanks to a secret camera we had planted in the room. He was immediately arrested. The joke was on him because, in trying to build a case of adultery, he revealed his ignorance of the Supreme Court ruling. The news was in the papers only the next day. He is now serving a prison sentence.”

Harry laughed and patted Khush on the back. Just then. Arjun walked in with Natasha and Anita clinging to him.


Next Episode: S2E05 – Like Father, Like Son

Author: Tapan Ghosh
Film maker, writer, thinker, rolled into one The creative me is a lot of fun. What you see here are my expressions true I hope they strike a chord within you.


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