DISCLAIMER: This is not my original work. It’s actually a kind of a remake of my grandfather’s Marathi story which had been featured in a Marathi magazine. I changed a few things in the story for the understanding of the audience.
Hope you all enjoy it.
Vikram Jadhav was in a fairly good mood today, he had been mentioned on the cover page of the “Business World” for taking his small company to such great heights and his company had also broken his previous year’s sales record. Alka his wife was going to be very happy on hearing such good news. He was driving his car after coming back from a meeting at the Royal Emerald Hotel, he took a left turn at the approaching crossroad and in some distance saw a person standing near a bike signaling for a lift. He stopped his car and lowered his window and asked him whether the guy needed a ride.
The person said no, he said his name was Alok Pradhan and his bike wasn’t actually broken. He wanted to talk about something with Vikram. This puzzled Vikram, he had no clue as to who this person was and how the hell did he know his name ? Vikram asked him how did he know his name and Alok mentioned that he had read the issue of “Business World” in which he had been featured. Vikram thought this mysterious person surely didn’t look dangerous and there wasn’t any harm in listening to what he had to say. He told Alok to come at his house where they could talk but Alok said that the information which he wished to share had to be relayed in a private place.
Alok told him to meet at the city museum on Tuesday at three in the afternoon as there are hardly people visiting that place during weekdays. Vikram agreed to this and left for his home. This had been a very peculiar evening for him, what kind of confidential information had this person to give ? Well whatever it is he can only know it on Tuesday. He forgot the event which had just occurred for the rest of the drive.
Finally it was Tuesday and Vikram reached the museum on time. He saw Alok in the art section, they both greeted each other and started walking. Vikram asked Alok what was the information he wanted to give. Alok asked Vikram whether he had heard about Narayan Jadhav his great-great grandfather’s father. Vikram replied by saying that he had heard the name from his own father during some instances, but what of him ? Alok told him that Narayan Jadhav had attained a lot of wealth by serving as a counselor to the king in those days, he had given a certain share of his wealth to Kartik his first son. But, the way he squandered all his money on women and gambling made him fear that his other son might do the same and hid the money in a secret room of his ancestral mansion.
Vikram was piqued by all this, he asked Alok as how did he know about such a thing and even if he knew about such a treasure why didn’t he take it himself then ? Alok told him that he knew about this as his grandfather who had passed away was a historian and had collected all this data and as for why he didn’t take the treasure for himself was due to the fact that the room was guarded by snakes, these snakes would attack anyone who were not a part of the Jadhav lineage and he didn’t even have any interest in getting the treasure. He thought that it was his duty to give it to his rightful owner. Alok told Vikram that he had the map for finding the trap door which lead them to the room.
All of this information was too out of the ordinary for Vikram. Still he thought that even if there was a possibility of the existence of a treasure he could easily pay off all those loans which he had piled up and in the future he would no longer need to take any loans from the bank. Vikram wanted to know whether Alok knew about the location of the mansion. Alok said he did know and would even help Vikram get the treasure. Blinded by greed Vikram asked Alok when they could leave for the mansion. Alok said they could leave the very next day late at night so as nobody could question them as to where they were going and it was better to take Alok’s bike rather than his car. He told Vikram to only bring a flashlight and a bag with him and not to mention about any of this to his wife.
The next day in the evening Vikram left his home at 8 telling his wife that he was going to attend a friend’s party and would come home late. Alka said that she didn’t like him going for such parties and leaving her alone at home. Vikram told her that he would come home soon, he left his house and walked to the nearest bus stop where Alok was waiting for him. Alok had a bag with him too, Vikram enquired as to what was in it. Alok told him it had tools to break the locks which would be there.
They both had some food at a restaurant and then set out to leave. It took them about thirty minutes to get out of the city as the traffic was too high, after that they drove for three hours on the highway before Alok took a turn into a dirt road. It was dark now and nobody was to be seen around. The bike stopped in front of a big mansion, Alok told Vikram that the treasure was kept in a black box in the treasure room. Alok exlained that to reach the room they had to first find the trap door that had a ladder which took them down to an empty lobby and at the end of that lobby was the treasure room. Nobody could know the location of the trap door unless they had the map and Alok assured Vikram that he had learnt the position of the trap door by the map. The trap door was located under a marble statue of Lord Ganesh. They located the statue in a room across the hall and moved it. Under it there was a ladder going down as mentioned in the map. They climbed down and walked through the lobby.
Reaching the treasure room’s door Alok requested Vikram to open the door and check inside as there was still a possibility of the snakes being there. Alok told him he would follow him if everything is ok. Vikram agreed, he put his bag on the floor and broke the lock open.As he stepped inside he felt something very heavy hit him on his head and blacked out right on the spot. Alok put the metal rod which he just used back in the bag and closed the door to the room. He quickly took out a big new lock from his bag and locked the door. He picked up Vikram’s bag and went straight to the ladder and climbed it. He locked the trap door by pushing the statue again into it’s original place and rushed out of the mansion locked the main entrance and then threw away both the keys in the river behind the mansion. He immediately started his bike and rushed back to city.
A few hours later Alok reached his apartment sat on the sofa and using his landline dialed a phone number.
The voice of a woman was heard on the other end,
“It’s me.” said Alok.
“Did you do it ? Is it over ?” the voice sounding excited.
Smiling Alok replied,” Yes, I did it.”
“Oh my God ! I love you so much Alok. Now we can be together just like we were since childhood.”
“Yes my love, I’ll meet you soon.” Alok cut the call.
On the other end Alka disconnected the phone. She was happy that now she could be with the love of her life rather than that boring Vikram. Alok’s plan was foolproof, the police would search for Vikram for some months and then after getting no leads would eventually shut the case themselves. Thinking of her future ahead with Alok she started humming a song and then went to the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea.