For the previous chapter, click HERE.
By: Keyur Seta
Hustling through the late afternoon traffic, Aryan finally reached Lamington Road in South Mumbai. It was a long time since he last visited this vicinity. The narrow lane was crammed even further with the emergence of shops and hawkers selling all types of computer and mobile equipment; all in your face. Despite being in a hurry to get hold of Cyrus, Aryan couldn’t help but recall the days when he used to visit the area frequently with his friends, mostly to buy some computer hardware parts or pirated movie CDs.
His GPS map told him that Hotel Descent is just besides Imperial Cinema. Aryan was hugely surprised to know that the B-grade specialist single screen theatre is still running in today’s era of multiplexes. Thankfully for him, he somehow managed to find some space to park his car at a corner just ahead of Hotel Descent.
Even before entering the hotel, by just examining the main entrance, Aryan understood the nature of the hotel. It was one of those cheap, shabby hotels that are mostly used for some secret endeavors. The strange smell as he walked up the stairs reinforced his first opinion on the place.
All through the long drive, Shekhar and Jennifer were confused as to where Aryan was heading and why. It was more than 30 minutes since they were following him. Despite being an expert detective, Aryan failed to notice Shekhar’s car tailing him. He was a human after all.
And as his car entered the narrow Lamington Road and stopped near a hotel like Descent, their curiosity increased. Shekhar and Jennifer looked at each other, question marks on their faces. It was Jennifer who broke the silence. “A detective like him entering such a hotel?” Shekhar didn’t answer. “Is he such a person?” Jennifer once again asked after a few seconds of silence.
“I don’t think so. However, I don’t know him well,” was all Shekhar could answer.
Aryan walked straight towards the hotel reception but the middle-aged man seated at the counter showed no interest in looking up at him. There was nobody else around. As Aryan stood still at the counter with his left elbow grounded on it, he could see the man was busy gazing at the pictures of Hindi film actresses from a Hindi newspaper. After a few seconds, the middle-aged man finally took notice of Aryan but through an irritated and questioning look.
“What do you want eh?” the man asked with a frown.
“Cyrus. Room no. 202. I need to meet him urgently,” said Aryan in a calm yet firm tone.
The man’s frown increased. “Look boss, first tell me who are you? And then I will call the person in that room and ask whether you should be allowed in.”
Aryan gave a rude smile. “My name is Aryan. I am going to sneak into Cyrus’ room and you are not going to inform him about my arrival.”
More irritated, the man said, “Look mister. Stop acting like ACP Pradyuman of CID.”
Aryan loved shutting the trap of such chaps with his authority and position. Here he had another opportunity. He slipped out his ID card and shoved it near the man’s face and said, “The only difference between me and Pradyuman is that I am not acting.”
The man went silent. “I am given this task by the local police of this area,” Aryan lied and continued, “So if you stop me from doing my duty, it will account to abetment of crime. What say?”
Aryan didn’t need to speak further as the man respectfully allowed him to proceed. With a naughty smile on his face, Aryan walked towards the elevator to reach room 202 on the second floor.
From a safe distance outside the hotel entrance, Shekhar and Jennifer were curiously watching Aryan’s antics with the man.
What will be their next step? Will Cyrus be exposed?
To know what happened next, click HERE.