Ajayraj reached his hotel room and was sipping his Jack in the balcony of his suite. He had already sent a text message and now was waiting for a call in return. Well, he did not have to wait long and before he could finish his first peg, his cell buzzed. He smiled at the screen and clicked the ok button.
“It’s green to go.”
“Alright then, plan B is in action.” The voice at the other end replied and the line went dead. Ajayraj stretched his legs on the tea table and was taking the sight of the city from his balcony, his mind busy somewhere else.
Ajayraj left for his uncle’s house to see his parents. His Dad was still bedridden and his mom was aging but was fine. His Uncle like always had been taking care of the family. They were pleased to see their son and more that he would stay with them for some time.
“I always thought that you’ll never return to us.” His mom spoke between the sobs.
“Mom, you know I was tied up and there were reasons for me not to come to India till…” Ajayraj’s eyes too turned moist, he knew he had been unfair in his duty of being the only son but he had to make some sacrifices to achieve his goals.
“I promise you mom, things will be fine soon and our time is about to come. Trust me…” Ajayraj held his mom’s hands together and assured her.
“All I want is a peaceful life for the family.” His mom replied bringing the clenched hands to her eyes.
“And I promise you mom I will fulfill all your wishes. It’s just a matter of a few more months and till then, I am staying with you.” The last words from her son brought a pleasant smile to his mother and uncle’s face.
The vultures of Karma were ready to strike Jeeva Bhai and it all started with a video clip of a couple who had stayed in the hotel for their honeymoon. The overnight viral clip brought a huge embarrassment for the couple and they took legal action against the hotel.
Nobody from the staff could understand how it happened. Jeeva Bhai paid the bailout amount and apologised to the couple and requested to sort the matter outside the court. It was not an easy matter, though the court was kept out of the scene, the reputation of the hotel took some serious damage.
Hardly had a week passed since the last incident when the power failures in the hotel started. The abrupt failures at odd times and at the peak times of the cafeteria created a mess if not more and it caused a sharp decline in the guests. Jeeva Bhai went mad over the electricity board who were equally helpless in figuring out the weird power cuts at the hotel.
Rumors in the market were already passing from ear to ear that Jeeva Bhai’s hotel is under the curse of devils. His hotel was taking a serious hit and Jeeva Bhai was now neck-deep in financial debts and there was no way out.
If things were bad for him then they were about to get worse. There was a leakage in the gas lines at multiple points and it ended with a massive explosion rendering serious injuries to the people. Luckily guests were not on the list of the injured ones. Jeeva Bhai was left aghast with the incident, he too started believing now that his Karma was hitting him back and this time harder than he could have anticipated.
While the hotel was shut down for maintenance, Jeeva Bhai was trying to get some cash inflow. He left no stone unturned to find someone who could pull him out of this dark phase. Ajayraj enjoyed his stay with his parents and was busy renovating his uncle’s old house whose plaster was weathered like an old crumbling tree.
It was a sunny morning when Ajayraj’s cell buzzed. He was busy supervising the contractor who was in charge of the renovation. Ajayraj smiled at the screen watching the London number flashing.
“You still in office.”
“Ya, was kind of tied up today.” Freddie replied scratching his unshaven jawline.
“What’s holding up.” Ajayraj asked walking away to avoid the noises.
“Nothing much now, just done with last design. The engineers were fucking genius.” Freddie pulled out his smoke and walked out.
“It’s done…???” Ajayraj was surprised with the pace things had worked out.
“What do you think, why had I been slogging my ass on weekend?” Freddie blew a streak of smoke high above him in the air.
“Dispatch it soon.” A crisp smile escaped Ajayraj’s lips.
“Will be done by tomorrow. How are things going on in India…?” Freddie asked relishing the smoke.
“As expected.” Ajayraj watched the workers carrying out their job.
“You wanna go ahead with…” Freddie didn’t finish his words and waited for Ajayraj to respond.
“Yes… I am not playing softball this time.” Ajayraj replied.
“Let lines get repaired.” Freddie ended the call with a long drag of his smoke.
Freddie stabbed his smoke and walked back to wrap up the work before calling it a weekend. Ajayraj was back to supervising work though his mind was pacing in a whole different universe.
It had taken more than a month for Jeeva Bhai’s hotel to get functional. However, the news and rumours were doing no good. The footfall showed a sharp decline and no one was ready to take the hotel as a venue for any function which was the main source of income.
Ajayraj was back in town and was sipping his latte in the cafeteria of Jeeva Bhai’s Hotel. It was early for customers to flood the place which was not a scene nowadays. Jeeva Bhai was sitting with bank officials who were ready to sanction the big loan with the hotel on the mortgage.
“I can’t thank you enough sir, this means a lot to me.” Jeeva Bhai shook hands with the bank manager as the loan was sanctioned. Though Ajayraj was furiously hitting the keys of his laptop, he didn’t miss a word. He looked at his cell and texted the message.
Things were slowly getting good, if not better for the hotel and the dining was again picking up the pace. Though stay in the hotel was still scanty but the business of the cafeteria was booming.
Hardly had a normal week passed when the wildest nightmare of Jeeva Bhai struck his struggling stars. It was late night and staff had already taken leave for the day with only security personnel taking rounds of the property. Heavy tremors shook the tallest and most luxurious building and turned it into a heap of steel and glass.
It was shocking and surprising that such a huge structure had collapsed in a few mins. Jeeva bhai came rushing in pyjamas to the hotel only to find the debris. The nearby locality reported they felt tremors but no one could expect such an accident. Everyone rushed out of their houses in nearby societies when the loud sound of the hotel building collapse was heard.
“I am ruined… Oh Fuck!… I am utterly ruined.” Tears started rolling down Jeeva Bhai’s eyes. Everyone around was equally clueless as Jeeva Bhai.
With such a weird incident, even the seismology department of the city visited the site to figure out what could be the cause of the collapse. They tried every angle and studied every aspect but there were no answers.
That evening, Jeeva Bhai was still sitting on the chair next to the debris of the hotel when his phone started ringing. Every money lender was now ready to grab a pound of flesh of Jeeva Bhai. The bank officials did not want to be left behind in the race. The property was finally confiscated by the Bank as Jeeva Bhai was on the roads now. He was left with nothing.
Jeeva Bhai suffered a massive cardiac arrest as the Bank notice was placed on the property. Somehow he was rushed to the hospital and survived the attack but only physically.
Bank too did not show any sympathy as under the act of God the insurance company would not pay anything. The notice for auction of the property was up but no one was willing to buy the cursed property. Jeeva Bhai was still in the hospital.
Only Ajayraj was the sole bidder for the property and without many bargains, he acquired it. Though it was more than the market price, he never minded as it was one of the perks of being a multimillionaire.
Jeeva Bhai’s health was stable now and he was soon going to get discharged. Ajayraj walked to his ward with beautiful flowers and a get well soon card tucked into it. Jeeva Bhai had already heard the news that the buyer of his property was Ajayraj.
“You seem better now.” Ajayraj arranged the flowers in the vase and sat next to the bed. An unknown rage was gushing through the veins of Jeevabhai.
“You should have taken the deal I offered. It would have at least saved your pride and some money too.” Ajayraj scoffed. Jeeva Bhai’s breathing was heavy and short now.
“Wonder nobody could discover this tiny black box in your hotel basement.” Ajayraj pulled out a small black box roughly the size of a book.
“What is it?” Jeeva Bhai spoke between his uneven breaths.
“This is a magic box specially designed to generate the controlled tremors that can bring any high end building down to ground. This was the last nail to your coffin.” Ajayraj smiled and kept it aside. Jeevabhai kept looking at the black box.
“You should have started figuring out soon that hackers can do anything from thousands of miles away, they can trigger your cameras, the electricity supply and can even cause the gas leakage.” Ajayraj smiled and finally revealed that it was his friend Freddie working on all this from London.
“Why did you do all this to me…? Why…?” Jeeva Bhai’s body began to convulse.
“That’s what my dad asked you, years back when you snatched away this ancestral property of ours.” The anger flashed through the eyes of Ajayraj darted helplessly at Jeeva bhai.
“Who are you…?” Though Jeevabhai knew the answer he still mustered the courage to ask, the pain in the left part of his chest had begun to elevate now.
“I am the son of R.P. Jadeja, Ajayrajsinh Jadeja.” Ajayraj got up and walked out of the room. The medical staff rushed in as Ajayraj called a doctor for Jeevabhai. Doctors couldn’t do much to save the already dying Jeeva Bhai.Today, a lavish and one of the finest hotels in the town stands tall in the city its name is RPJ.
Written by: Hemang
Sketch: Paranj Sankdecha
As I said in the previous part, I owe this story to this beautiful place, RPJ hotel. The cafe had been my favourite place to craft many realistic fictions over a soothing cup of coffee. Please do visit and let me know your experience in the comment box and if you are still thinking… Well, what are you thinking, just go and grab of cup of coffee and experience the lavish ambience.