SALAAM NAMASTE


Theme for Sept 06, 2013 'WOW' : ‘Salaam, Namaste!’ Write a post including the two words Salaam and Namaste.


'Salaam Namaste', the motel name flashed in the setting sun.It was a rickety old one Niti and Nakul managed to find, after trekking the Satora hills, the whole day earlier. Satora range located in the remote behinds of the dense Corbett National Park, was a region barely explored, except by a few really hardcore travel enthusiasts. Mainly due to the poor logistics the place had and the frequent landslides that occurred ( making the place one of the most dangerous on earth ), the travellers thus, usually avoided that particular route and preferred to stay on the mainstream track.

This particular trek they were taking too, was mainly because of Nakul's persistence to try out something new, that Niti had atlast agreed. Moreover, there were some recent mysterious deaths around the place, of a few 'trekker-couples', that Nakul wanted to investigate. He was a journalist and often tried to wrap his work-load within his travels schedules. And Niti was his assistant for a number of years now. Being frequently in the company of each other, sparks naturally flew between them, and they had come to be accepted as the hot-shot journalist duo. This outing of theirs was an unofficial one, but the deaths had intrigued Nakul. Any couple who trekked the Satora hills were found murdered the next day, and their bodies thrown near the banks of the stream that flowed by. The motive of these homicides were not clear as the victim's possessions like wallet/watches/jewelleries etc would usually remain intact with the corpse. The murders always happened only to 'tourist couples', which was really a strange pattern.

"Is this the only place we have, to put up?" Niti asked, not at all impressed at the small shanty type motel.
"Not that I'm aware of," Nakul replied, preparing to go inside, "the chap in the village we left earlier, gave this address, so I think we'll have to spend the night here. Its not that bad, considering the remote location that this area is in."
Niti sighed and didn't protest further, letting Nakul lead the way.

"Salaam Sir, Namaste Ma'am," the motel owner greeted them, when he saw the tired couple walk in. He was a stout, pot-bellied person of pahari origins, wearing a thick pair of spectacles. It was the off-peak season, and there were hardly any customers of late, so seeing the two walking in, his eyes had started to sparkle in excitement, "Welcome to Satora, how may I help you?" He gave a warm smile, his white teeth gleaming, while his eyes moved from Nakul to Niti interestedly, halting his eyes at Niti for a while longer.

"We are looking for a place to spend tonight," Nakul replied.
"Yes, yes...its what travellers like you come to this humble place for. We have plenty of rooms ready. You shall have the very best, Sir." The owner answered, before pressing a button in his desk. "Bahadur!" he called out, "Saheb aur memsaheb ka luggage upar ke kamre mei le jawo ( take the luggage to the room upstairs )."
A young, thin lad came in quickly to carry the luggage. He didn't look at any of them, rather just went straight to where the luggages stood, by the small lobby door. As he placed one on his head and took the other two in both his hands, he asked his master, his eyes still lowered down, "Talwar bhi ready karu kya sahab ji ( shall I ready the sword too )?"
"Bahadur, jo bola hai woh kar bina sawal kare ( do what is asked, without asking questions ), the owner said quickly in an irritated voice, and hurriedly tried to divert Nakul's attention, "Sir cold water or hot water, what shall you prefer? And for Madam ji too?"
Nakul was looking at the thin lad thoughtfully, his last question to his master had piqued his interest instantly, especially the way the motel owner snubbed him and changed the topic in a hurry. Something was fishy, Nakul smelt.

"Sir?" the owner prompted eagerly.
"Oh its okay. Don't bother about that," Nakul replied bit distracted, while Niti looked at him incredulously. She always preferred hot water. "Just show us our room." Nakul continued, "Can we have a ground-floor room please? My partner here do not like heights. Doctors have advised her against it." Niti threw him another glaring look, but did not interrupt. When Nakul said or did unpredictable things, most probably he had something in his mind. He always did.
"Yes! Yes, of course. We have a lovely room in the ground-floor itself. Its beautiful and you both will like it." the motel owner again called for Bahadur to take the luggage to a ground floor room instead.
"We are bit tired, so I hope we are not disturbed for a while," Nakul said. He definitely had something working in his mind. The word 'sword' which Bahadur uttered earlier, was still fresh on his mind.
"As you wish Sir, we'll just disturb you when its time for dinner only. Here dinner is the usual vegetarian thali dish, which is same for all our visiting guests. Hope its okay with you."
"Sure, no problem." Nakul answered.

They were then shown into a room, which was mildly decorated and had a double-bed in the center. Once in, Nakul quickly went to inspect the windows of the room. It had colourful curtains pulled, that had big floral motifs. But everything was grilled, he found. And there was no balcony or patio area either. Would his plan work after all, he wondered. Ever since the motel owner rebuked Bahadur, Nakul wanted to know what was the meaning behind that sentence, the thin man uttered, which had suddenly irritated the stout owner. And he was not resting until he found out. He then went to the bathroom. Thankfully, the windows here were not grilled. It was much smaller though, but there were glass blocks that could be easily removed. Once removed, there'd be enough space for a single person to slide out.

"Keep the door bolted, till I return," Nakul instructed Niti in a hush-hush tone, who was still dazed at Nakul's strange behaviour. Nakul then slid out through the narrow bathroom window. It had already gotten dark, and the mountain bushes around gave an added cover. He scanned the motel from outside looking for gaps to slither through. He reached the farthest corner when he heard some voices. He went nearer. It was coming from outside the motel. There was a small shed, almost attached to its rear end. Nakul crept near, keeping as quiet at he could, and strained his ears to make out what was being said. There was a small hole he found, through which he peeked in. The shed was dimly lit inside. He saw Bahadur, who stood in one corner. He held a shining sword in his hand. Someone was speaking to him, but was not visible in Nakul's range of vision.

"Kaam ho jana chahiye aaj raat ko ( work should be completed tonight itself). Dono shaher ka hi hai ( both are from the city )," it was the motel owner's voice, "but you dumbo, you should not ask such things again in front of visitors, like you did today. We nearly got caught. What would they think, if they knew, you were asking about sharpening the very sword that would kill them? You moron!"
"Galti ho gayi ( it was a mistake)," Bahadur replied meekly, "Yes, they'll be finished tonight." He finally looked up at his master, his voice had slowly turned sinister. Nakul froze when he saw his eyes. They were the most menacing pair of cold eyes, he'd ever seen. Both then suddenly laughed out inside the small shed, a very cruel cold-bloodied laugh. Nakul's doubts were confirmed. These were the killers behind all those mysterious tourist's killings, that were happening in this area. And both he and Niti, had landed right in the killer's den. And they were a couple too, couples being the prime target in the homicide cases..
Nakul hurried back as fast as he could to the bathroom window from where he had slid out of, hoping they hadn't heard him.

"Where are we going? What about the luggage?" Niti could not understand why she was suddenly being pushed out through the little bathroom window, as soon as Nakul arrived back. "Where will we go in the night?"
"Forget the luggage, our lives are more important," Nakul said, hurriedly taking hold of his wallet and few other smaller items that would be necessary. "Come on lets hurry, we have to hit the highway fast or our lives are in serious danger."

Once outside the bathroom window, both ran as fast as they could, not sure where exactly they were running to, but as long as they were running away from that ghastly place. They ran for hours through the jungles, down the hill, bruised by the thick spiky bushes, tripping and falling few times and getting hurt by the sharp stones. They kept running until they finally heard the familiar noises of vehicles pass by. Both exhausted and panting, they had at last reached the highway.


"What happened to that Satora case?" Niti asked. They were now sitting in their office. Its been a few weeks since their escape.
"Inspector Yadav had called earlier," Nakul began, shrugging, "He had sent his sleuths to the exact location we'd been, but surprisingly they could not locate any motel named 'Salaam Namaste'. He sent me a picture via email that resembles the motel building, but it is now a souvenir shop run by an elderly couple. And it has a different name too. There's no motel owner or a bahadur over there, and the couple owner hadn't seen anyone that matches their description either. They've been running that place for over 2 decades now. Its strange, but that's what the inspector told me."
Niti looked at him, a wide shocked expression in her face.

( to be continued.....)
~~~o~~~


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23 comments:

  1. Waiting for the next part.suspense building up.

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    Replies
    1. thank you...it'll be up soon :-)

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  2. Nice suspense..waiting for the next part Ma'am...

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    Replies
    1. thanks for reading @Karan....keep tuned

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  3. Intriguing, why this suspense I hate waiting. Anyway superb thrill so far, when is the continuation coming.

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  4. good morning - http://goodiformation.blogspot.in/

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  5. I'm waiting for the next part! :o I hate waiting :/ but this is really good :D

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    1. yep ...it'l be out soon...thanks :-)

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  6. Wow! What a thriller! What happened next!?! :D

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    Replies
    1. thanks for reading...will let ya know soon :-)

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  7. That kept me biting my nails till the end... Lovely!

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  8. Nice one... Eagerly waiting for the 2nd part

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  9. eagerly waiting for the next part

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  10. Wow what a story. Dying to know the end

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  11. Wow what a story. Dying to know the end

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  12. Good one..waiting to read the rest !

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  13. Whooo....waiting to read more!!

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