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Duplicity: Chapter 4

                                            The name of my team is Writers' Express.

                                             Read the first chapter here: Chapter 1

                                             Read the previous part of the story here: Chapter 3


                Life had returned to normal after the few days of panic that Roohi’s health had caused. Cyrus was still with the Duttas and after all that he had done for Roohi, Tara had mellowed down and accepted him as a part of her family. She had begun to trust him and the initial apprehension had given way to some warmth she felt for Cyrus. Though at times, the old doubts did nag her forcing her to take a step back and be wary of this weird human being all over again.
           It was one late afternoon when Tara had left office to run some errands that something happened that renewed her opinions about Cyrus and drastically changed her approach towards him. The hot weather forced Tara to roll up the windows and switch on the A/C. To drive away her sleep Tara switched on the music system and got busy manoeuvering in the traffic when out of the corner of her eyes she spotted Cyrus. He was getting into a cab. For a moment she wondered if she was wrong, but then took a quick second look to be sure  she had not made a mistake.  He most definitely was Cyrus. She tried honking to get his attention but in vain. He had gotten into the cab and had zoomed away. She found it rather odd because he had never mentioned about visiting this part of town. He had no friends or relatives and he would usually travel to Goregaon, so what business had brought him to Nariman Point, she wondered.
         Upon reaching home, she found Cyrus reading some books when she decided to ask him.
 “Hey, Cyrus?”
 “Yea, bhabhi?”
“I saw you at Nariman Point today.” Tara mentioned.
  His face was like that of a deer caught in the headlights. He tried playing innocent, but Tara could make out he was trying to hide something.
 “No, bhabhi. I wasn’t there. I was at Andheri since morning,” he replied, as matter-of-factly as he could.
“No no, I am very sure it was you. You were getting into a cab when I noticed you. I tried honking to grab your attention, but your cab sped off so quickly! I think I must have missed you by a fraction of a second. I could have given you a ride home.” Tara stuck to her guns as forcefully as she did at her boardroom meetings.
 “No bhabhi. That was not me. You must have mistaken someone else for me. I have been busy at Andheri and then at that library you told me about, browsing through those heavy tomes of law and order.” Cyrus stammered nervously and then giggled, trying to hide his fear.
 “It’s not like you moved in yesterday, Cyrus.” Tara replied coldly, her heart beating wildly when she noticed the fear in his eyes. A fear that Shekhar, who had been watching from the sidelines, had failed to observe.
 “Hey, bhabhi, do you moonlight as a criminal lawyer? Believe me, I have never ever been to that side of town!”and he guffawed in the faint hope that Tara would change the topic and believe his words. Shekhar quickly moved in, trying to ease the tensed atmosphere. He tried whispering something to Tara to calm her down, but she left them in a huff.
        She did try thinking about the entire episode as she changed for the night and realised she must have made a mistake. There are identical people all over the world, she chided herself, and decided to apologise for her rudeness to Cyrus when she went to call him for dinner. After  she fixed dinner she went to call Cyrus and  found him talking over the phone. But, no sooner did she enter his line of vision than he disconnected the call as if worried she might have overheard his conversation. Again he appeared ruffled and ill at ease. Tara took in every movement of his but did not utter a word except call him for dinner. She also did not apologise for her earlier behaviour.
      Dinner was served and eaten in a silence that hung like a sword over their heads. Shekhar did try making small talk, cracking jokes, to lighten the atmosphere, but failed pathetically. The guilt he felt was equally proportionate to the anxiety he felt taking in Tara’s disturbed equilibrium.
      The next few days passed by in the eerie silence that follows a storm which leaves life in a state of disarray. Tara hardly spoke to Cyrus or responded to Shekhar’s pleas of calming down. She just went about her work, a sulk in her demeanor highlighted by a thin smile on her lips that spoke of her state of mind more than words could.
       One day, early morning, Cyrus came over as Shekhar and Tara were sipping coffee. He cleared his throat and made a feeble attempt at speaking to them about his plans for the immediate future. He had some work at Delhi, and so had decided to leave, with his luggage in a short while to catch an early flight. Time was precious, he mumbled. Those last words grabbed Tara’s attention and she looked up at him in  alarm. But,  the thought that this mysterious man would be leaving them in peace, filled her with relief.
       Alas! Her relief was short lived. Four days later the young man was back, with just a backpack. She wondered if he had indeed been to Delhi. She asked herself what might have happened to the rest of his luggage. She knew that she wouldn’t get direct answers if she asked Cyrus. She decided to wait.

You can read the next chapter here: Chapter 5

Me and my team are participating in Game Of Blogs  at #Celebrate blogging with us.
This is the 4th chapter of a possible novella. Everyday this week and hopefully for the next two, there will be at least one chapter everyday.


  1. Compelling narrative and heart pounding interest add a twist to the tale. Great story, Shilpa:)

  2. Hi Shilpa Nice write up as always. Would be reading other parts soon.

  3. Hi Shilpa
    Submit the post of ur blog here ...
    Wheb Blogadda asks for twitter id , type it without @

  4. Hi Shilpa

    i appreciate your writing on duplicity chapter. thank you !

    Cheap ELO Boosting


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