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General

Convalescing from stomach flu, professional game designer Abhay Kulkarni is confined to his room in his apartment on the 4th floor in Powai, Mumbai. His rear window looks out onto a busy running road and several other apartments right across his society. During an intense heatwave, he gazes out of his window at his neighbours, who keep their windows open to stay cool.

He observes a flamboyant dancer he nicknames "Miss Rosy"; a single woman he calls "Miss Flapper"; a composer-guitarist; one of the newlyweds; a middle-aged couple with a dog who is either digging and destroying the flower garden or otherwise barking most of the time for no reason which the neighbours find most irritating; a female sculptor; and Mansukh Bhai Bapat, a sleazy, rich diamond merchandiser suspected of buying stolen stuff and his young and most attractive and seductive wife Hetal.

Abhay's classy, attractive cosmopolitan sweetheart, Ria John, visits him regularly, as so does the insurance company representative, Vrinda. Vrinda thinks Abhay should settle down and tie the knot with Ria, but Abhay is hesitant due to their divergent lifestyles and somewhere deep down his heart he could sense the animal instinct within him, the simple undifferentiated desire to pursue his lust for Hetal.

The following night as accustomed Abhay is sitting near his apartment window lost in his erotic thoughts as he visualizes Hetal bare-skinned with her voluminous black ringlets cascading down her sexy dusky back, wafting an elusive fragrance of sweet-smelling flowers into the bedroom as she moves in his direction.

Early next morning as he stretches his arms wide in the open air, he gets to see Hetal in a seductive transparent nightgown where there was nothing left for imagination, looking at him flirtatiously. The very same afternoon he finds Hetal in his room while Mansukh Bhai is away on an official trip which ends up romantically. This is the beginning of something new for him.

The next evening as Abhay stands near his window wishing a glance of Hetal he observes some strange happenings at Mansukh Bhai’s apartment. But it is not so clear because of the well-draped curtains in there. He could make out from the gesticulating shadows and also from the distant high pitched voices that a heated argument is taking place between the couple. He could hear Mansukh Bhai using very derogatory words like a whore, bitch, betray, etc...for Hetal and the shrill voice of Hetal accusing him of being a rogue and a thief. By the time he reaches their apartment, the situation seems calm and he is asked to leave with caution to stay out of their matters. He sees Hetal running her hand through her unruly shock of black ringlets while glancing at the bruises on her neck and face that she tries to conceal.

Later in the week, one night during a thunderstorm, Abhay hears a woman scream, "Don't! Please Don’t!" and then the sound of breaking glass. He observes Mansukh Bhai leaving his apartment, carrying a travel case in the pouring rain. Mansukh Bhai makes frequent late-night trips carrying the case.

The next morning, Abhay notices from his window the absence of Hetal, and Mansukh Bhai having movers hauling away a bulky chest tied up with a rope. Abhay rings up his friend, Inspector Ramakant Patil of Mumbai Police and says he fears that Hetal has been murdered by her husband as she has been missing for a while. He requests his police friend to investigate the matter.

Abhay then discusses all this with Ria and Vrinda as well, who comments that he has a highly fertile imagination. But knowing Abhay they realise that it is not his imagination as they watch Mansukh Bhai behaving very suspiciously.

Ramakant confronts and asks Mansukh Bhai where Hetal is. Mansukh Bhai informs the Inspector that she is visiting her parents in Pune and will be back in a few days.

The very next day, the neighbour's dog is found dead in the garden with its neck broken. The hysterical owner yells across the driveway, accusing the heartless neighbours of this crime. Everyone runs to their windows to see what is happening, except for Mansukh Bhai, who is busy smoking his cigar.

Certainly, Mansukh Bhai has killed the dog; Abhay has Ria slip an accusatory note under his door so he can analyze Mansukh Bhai's reaction to it. To get Mansukh Bhai out of his apartment, Abhay in a disguised tone calls him to a bar on the pretext of his evaluating some ancestral diamonds. He is sure Mansukh Bhai buried something incriminating in the garden flower bed and killed the dog to stop it digging there. When Mansukh Bhai leaves, Ria and Vrinda dig up the flowers but find nothing.

Much to Abhay's astonishment and admiration, Ria climbs up the ladder to Mansukh Bhai's apartment and clambers in through an open window. While she is searching for any incriminating evidence, Mansukh Bhai enters and confronts Ria. Before Abhay could contact his police friend Ramakant, Mansukh Bhai has already summoned the police. While being arrested Ria tells the police that she was searching for evidence against this man for having murdered his wife. The police arrest Ria for housebreaking.

Abhay phones Ramakant and leaves an urgent message while Vrinda goes to bail Ria out of jail. When his phone rings, Abhay assuming it is Ramakant, blurts out that the suspect has left the apartment. When no one answers, Abhay realizes that Mansukh Bhai himself called and is coming to confront him. When the doorbell rings Abhay sees an enraged Mansukh Bhai rushing towards him, ready to battle. In the heat of the moment, Mansukh Bhai knocks him out of the open window, as Abhay, hanging on, yells for help. Police enter the apartment as Abhay falls; officers on the ground run over and break his fall. Mansukh Bhai tries to convince the police that he is not the culprit but is handcuffed and taken into custody thereafter as he was involved in many misdemeanours’ involving buying stolen jewellery.

A few days later, when the excitement of the crime has settled down, Abhay moves into a new and more upscale apartment. Abhay and Hetal recline satiated from a long and passionate interlude in his new apartment enjoying the intimacy as his erotic dream about Hetal had come true.

Just then the doorbell rings and Abhay receives a small parcel in Hetal’s name. He opens the parcel wondering what it is and finds a small pouch which he opens and pours the content into his palm. As he is looking at the glittering diamonds in his palm disbelievingly and wondering why Hetal did not mention the diamonds; from the corner of his eye, he suddenly became aware of Hetal holding a dagger threateningly. Before he could move, Hetal’s dagger sliced his neck. The last words his numbed brain heard were SHHH...CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET?

August 21, 2020 05:59

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50 comments

Upinder Kaur
06:50 Aug 24, 2020

Very nice Richa

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06:56 Aug 27, 2020

Thank you so much❤

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Akhil Iyer
00:56 Aug 23, 2020

A great work of fiction... I generally do not like to read but when I started reading this story my curiosity to know what happened next kept me going Beautifully narrated. I am sure this is just the beginning. I wish you all the very best !

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06:56 Aug 27, 2020

Thanks Akhil.

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09:44 Aug 21, 2020

Keeps u engrossed..I think for starters it's a brilliant effort..way to go 👋👋👍

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06:56 Aug 27, 2020

Thanks dear

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Shilpi Goel
08:12 Aug 21, 2020

The story is an ultimate mystery thriller with càpturing details. The secret remains a secret till the very end .Grasping story...

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06:58 Aug 27, 2020

Thank you Shilpi for appreciating my attempt.

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Vijay Chauhan
07:36 Aug 21, 2020

Thriller... Good one Richa

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06:58 Aug 27, 2020

Thanks Vijay

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